TIGERS SECURE TOP SPOT

Thursday September 14, 2017
SHEFFIELD secured their spot at the top of the SGB Championship table with wins over Edinburgh and Ipswich on Thursday night.


It was a magnificent night for the Window Centre Tigers, who enjoyed double delight on a hectic evening to build up an unassailable lead at the summit.

Simon Stead’s side put in a complete team performance to thrash Edinburgh 58-34 in the first meeting of the night.

And they picked up where they left off to see off a determined Ipswich side by a 52-38 scoreline to preserve their unbeaten home record.

They were given a major scare by the second placed Witches, who won at Glasgow 24 hours earlier, but they struck four 5-1s in the final four races to come out on top.

It was a perfect response from the Tigers after their winning run came to an end at Redcar last week – and Stead was delighted with another successful night at the office.

“We’re really pleased,” Stead said. “We just needed to keep our heads today and go about our business like we have been all year.

“We’ve been riding as a complete unit, the lads are getting on fantastically well and I think that’s shown again by the results on track.

“It’s never ideal running two fixtures in one day, and we maybe tired a little bit at one stage. It’s difficult to stay on top of things for so many heats.

“I’m really proud of the lads for regrouping. It’s never nice to fall behind on your home track, but the way the lads responded with four 5-1s in the last five races was incredible.

“They’ve made it look pretty convincing when in reality it wasn’t. Ipswich came and put up a good fight and we’ve done extremely well to get that sort of result out of it.”

The Tigers were in ruthless form against Edinburgh, with all six riders contributing to a complete performance.

Top two Josh Grajczonek and Kyle Howarth suffered just one defeat apiece, whilst Lasse Bjerre and guest Lewis Kerr bagged double figures to earn heat 15 appearances.

The fast-starting Jan Graversen top scored on a busy night, whilst his reserve partner Georgie Wood claimed two composed race wins with a fine display.

But the strain on men and machines started to take its toll in the second meeting, with a string of retirements holding them back early on.

They were level after eight races but rallied late on to edge a last-gasp win in a nervy encounter.

Bjerre handed them their breakthrough with a breathtaking ride in heat nine to dive underneath Rory Schlein on the final bend after frantically chasing his back wheel for four laps.

Ipswich hit back to take the lead for the first time in heat 11, although the Tigers instantly responded via Bjerre and Graversen.

They then all but sealed victory with Grajczonek and Howarth shutting out Danny King in heat 13 before a slice of fortune secured three points as Kyle Newman ground to a halt when he was passed by Graversen for the lead on the final lap.

The Tigers will head to Berwick on Saturday before hosting Redcar at Owlerton on Monday (7.45).

SHEFFIELD 58: Jan Graversen 12+2, Lasse Bjerre 11, Lewis Kerr 10+4, Kyle Howarth 9+1, Josh Grajczonek 9, Georgie Wood 7, Todd Kurtz R/R.
EDINBURGH 34: Ricky Wells 15, Sam Masters 7, Mark Riss 4+2, Erik Riss 4, Mitchell Davey 3, Max Clegg 1+1, Josh Pickering 0.

SHEFFIELD 52: Jan Graversen 14+2, Kyle Howarth 11+1, Lasse Bjerre 11, Josh Grajczonek 10+1, Lewis Kerr 4+2, Georgie Wood 2+1, Todd Kurtz r/r.
IPSWICH 38: Rory Schlein 9, Mark Riss 7+2, Connor Mountain 7+1, Kyle Newman 7, Danny King 6+1, Nathan Graves 2+1, Cameron Heeps r/r.

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