Saturday March 25, 2017
SHEFFIELD lost their opening SGB Championship fixture of the season as they went down 52-41 at Ipswich.

The Window Centre Tigers were restricted to just four race winners at Foxhall as a powerful Witches side proved to be too strong on opening night.

With eight heats gone, the Tigers trailed by 12-points, but an 8-1 from captain Kyle Howarth and Robert Branford reduced the gap to five.

However, the Witches responded instantly with a maximum heat advantage of their own to put them 36-27 up on the night, before finishing strongly to send Sheffield home empty handed.

Tigers boss Simon Stead admitted the better side won on the night, but says there are plenty of positives to take out of the first meeting of the season.

"Obviously I'm disappointed not to be leaving with any league points but Ipswich deserved their win and we can't have too many complaints," Stead said.

"As I said earlier in the week, Ipswich are a really strong side and I can't see many teams taking points off them at their place this year.

"For me though there was enough there in our performance which we can take into the rest of the season and build on.

"Kyle (Howarth) and Lasse (Bjerre) did well and myself personally, I wasn't shocked to see how well Robert (Branford) did at reserve because that's what he's capable of.

"As for the rest of the boys, they'll be glad to have a team meeting under their belts and I know they'll pick themselves up pretty quickly.

"This is obviously very early doors and while the result wasn't what we wanted, the boys shouldn't let their heads drop too much after tonight."

Skipper Kyle Howarth top scored for the Tigers while Danish star Lasse Bjerre recovered well from an exclusion in his first race in Sheffield colours.

Rob Branford put in an impressive, encouraging display at reserve while the rest of the Owlerton outfit will be looking to bag more points when they host Somerset in Yorkshire on Thursday.

IPSWICH 52: Danny King 15 (maximum), Rory Schlein 13+1, Cameron Heeps 8+2, Danyon Hume 8+1, Nico Covatti 7+1, Connor Mountain 1, Kyle Newman R/R.

SHEFFIELD 41: Kyle Howarth 12, Rob Branford 8+2, Lasse Bjerre 8+1, Josh Grajczonek 6+1, Josh Bates 4+1, Todd Kurtz 3, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn 0.

Share This:   Facebook Twitter