Saturday May 03, 2014
SKIPPER Simon Stead kept his Sheffield Tigers side in the Knockout Cup with a brave display in the 54-36 first leg defeat at Berwick.

Stead notched 14 - including four race wins - in the face of a Bandits onslaught which, for a large part of the meeting, looked to put the tie beyond Sheffield's reach.

But Tigers management member Simon Parker said: "That rally in the last third of the meeting has kept us in the cup.

"I believe we can pull 18 points back if the boys have their gating gloves on. That really was a great team effort."

The Bandits were winning races comfortably - and by a big distance with Tigers struggling for confidence as the night progressed.

To give them credit, they staged a rally in Heats 11 and 12 to keep the tie alive with Stead winning a 4-2 and then Andre Compton scored his first points of the night in a shock 5-1 with Simon Nielsen.

And when Stead inspired a 4-2 in Heat 13 with Lanham it brought Sheffield back to a 14-point deficit.

But the Bandits finished strongly and will arrive as favourites on Thursday when Sheffield will need everyone firing on all cylinders, including new boy Proctor.

BERWICK 54: Steen Jensen 14, Claus Vissing 11+1, Matthew Wethers 10+4, Matej Kus 10, Liam Carr 5+1, Kevin Doolan 4, David Bell ego r/r.

SHEFFIELD 36: Simon Stead 14, Simon Nielsen 6+1, Leigh Lanham 6, Taylor Poole 5+1, Andre Compton 5, Josh Bates 0, Ty Proctor r/r.

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