Thursday July 09, 2015
SHEFFIELD kept their Premier League play-off bid firmly on-track with a 56-36 win over rivals Berwick at Owlerton on Thursday.

The Bandits are one of the teams chasing the Tigers in the race for the top six, but they hardly had a look in as the visitors were limited to just one heat win all evening.

Tigers’ individual stars were Jason Garrity, who reeled off a 12-point maximum, and youngster Josh Bates who underlined his rapid improvement with 14 (paid 15) at reserve, dropping his only points when he came to grief in Heat 12.

Bates won both of the first two races as Tigers raced into a 9-3 lead, and there was no let up from the home side in terms of heat victories with Garrity taking Heats 3 and 5, and Bates completing a hat-trick in between.

With Garrity joined by David Bellego for maximum points in the fifth, and guest Craig Cook heading up a 4-2 in the next, the Bandits already trailed 11-25 and sent out Kevin Doolan for a tactical ride in Heat 7.

But the experienced Australian was beaten by Andre Compton as the visitors had to be content with a 5-3 from Doolan and Thomas Jorgensen, who were clearly their best riders as former Tigers favourite Richard Hall endured a nightmare evening.

Sheffield put a double lock on the points by taking the next three races by a 13-5 margin, Garrity steaming past Doolan in Heat 9, and it took until Heat 12 for Berwick to notch a race win, with a 5-1 from Jorgensen and Liam Carr after Bates had fallen on the second bend.

Cook won Heats 13 and 15 with Garrity completing his maximum in the fourteenth, leaving the Tigers 20-points clear at the end of a thoroughly convincing performance.

The win means Sheffield are comfortably placed, ten points clear of the Bandits who are just outside the play-off zone.

And following the meeting, co-promoter Damien Bates confirmed a new rider is set to join the club with further news to follow over the coming days.

Bates said: “I can confirm we are very close to finalising arrangements with a new rider as a replacement for Ashley Birks.

“The rider concerned wants to come to Sheffield but it's not logistically possible for him to be here until next week, so hopefully over the next few days we will have some news.”

SHEFFIELD 56: Josh Bates 14+1, Jason Garrity 12, Craig Cook 11, Andre Compton 8, David Bellego 7+1, Arthur Sissis 4+1, Ashley Birks r/r
BERWICK 36: Thomas Jorgensen 11+2, Kevin Doolan 11+1, Ryan Fisher 8+1, Fernando Garcia 3, Liam Carr 2+1, Richard Hall 1, Claus Vissing r/r
Premier League points: Sheffield 3 Berwick 0

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