Thursday May 21, 2015
SHEFFIELD will take a slender two point lead to Armdale for the second leg of their Knockout Cup tie with Edinburgh after they battled to a 46-44 victory over the Monarchs at Owlerton.

The Tigers had put in another determined display to build up a six point advantage – yet they conceded a costly 5-1 in the final race to see their advantage slashed.

Jack Lee’s side required another battling all-around team display to emerge victorious on the night in what was another tight encounter.

Team boss Lee knows they will face a stern task in the second leg on Friday night – but he insists they have not given up hope as they aim to progress to the next round.

Said Lee: “It was a shame that heat 15 was the closest they got all night. Six points would have been handy to take up there, but it’s going to be tough.

“We had to work really hard, and we are pleased we managed to win on the night because it took a big effort in the end.

“We’ve got to go up there believing we can make it through. It’s going to be hard with only a two point lead, we were looking for more like 12, but anything can happen on the night, so we’ll give it our best shot and try to make it through.”

Stand-in skipper Andre Compton bagged double figures but ended his night with a nasty crash in heat 15 from which he was eventually able to walk away.

His partner Ashley Birks was unfortunately left trailing in the rerun of the final race after previously enjoying a superb evening as he notched 12 points.

Reserve duo Arthur Sissis and Josh Bates both impressed, with Sissis involved in 5-1s alongside Bates and Compton in heats two and eight respectively.

However, Jason Garrity experienced an inconsistent evening despite adding six useful points, whilst Lasse Bjerre struggled to make a significant impact as he guested for Simon Stead in the No.1 spot.

It was a good win on the night for the Tigers with plenty of positive signs against a strong Edinburgh side, and they will hold hopes of a surprise result at Armdale on Friday night as they aim to keep their Knockout Cup dream alive.

Both sides will be unchanged for the second leg, with Bjerre again stepping in for long-term injury victim Stead.

SHEFFIELD 46: Ashley Birks 12, Andre Compton 12, Arthur Sissis 6+4, Jason Garrity 6+1, Josh Bates 5+2, Lasse Bjerre 5, Ty Proctor r/r

EDINBURGH 44: Craig Cook 14, Kevin Wolbert 11+2, Sam Masters 8+1, Justin Sedgmen 6+1, Erik Riss 2+1, Rob Brandford 2, Max Clegg 1

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