Wednesday October 26, 2016
SHEFFIELD slipped to a narrow 46-44 defeat in the first leg of their Premier League Grand Final against Somerset at Owlerton.

The Window Centre Tigers experienced a tough night but bagged back to back heat advantages in the final two races to keep their slim hopes of an aggregate victory alive.

Co-promoter Damien Bates admitted it was a disappointing result for his side - although he was full of praise for the powerhouse Rebels following their impressive display.

And he insists the tie is not over despite needing a miraculous display in the second leg at the Oak Tree Arena on Thursday (7.30).

Said Bates: "It's not the ideal result, but we had some bad luck with a couple of engine failures and that went against us.

"The boys tried their best and that's all we can ask. There is no getting away from the fact Somerset are an absolutely fantastic side, and they took full advantage tonight.

"It's disappointing, but it's only two points and if they have a bit of bad luck themselves tomorrow then we could have a chance."

Stand-in skipper Kyle Howarth and guest Stuart Robson started for the home side with double figure scores.

Lower order man Arthur Sissis also chipped in with a vital contribution including a timely heat 14 victory.

But Josh Bates struggled to make a major impact after suffering with a migraine throughout the day, whilst Nathan Greaves also failed to build on a promising opening ride.

With a flying Somerset top two of Rohan Tungate and Josh Grajczonek limiting the impact of guesting No.1 Ricky Wells, the home side fell just short in a fiercely-contested encounter.

Both sides will remain unchanged for Thursday's decisive second leg at Somerset.

A full preview will follow on Thursday morning.

SHEFFIELD 44: Kyle Howarth 13, Stuart Robson 12+1, Arthur Sissis 6+1, Josh Bates 6, Ricky Wells 4+2, Nathan Greaves 3, Simon Stead R/R.
SOMERSET 46: Josh Grajczonek 12, Rohan Tungate 11, Paul Starke 7, Charles Wright 6, Robert Branford 4+1, James Shanes 3+1, Jake Allen 3.

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