Thursday March 28, 2013
NEW Sheffield No.1 Simon Stead made a winning return to Owlerton – but it was the class of Elite League Birmingham which shone through in the first meeting of the 2013 season.

Stead recovered from mechanical problems in his first outing to notch ten points from his next four rides against Tigers’ top-flight opponents, taking the flag in Heats 13 and 15 to head up a couple of race advantages for the home side.

There was also an exciting debut for Argentinean newcomer Facundo Albin, who showed plenty of promise for the campaign ahead and came out on top in a stirring battle with compatriot Nico Covatti for second place in Heat 8.

The remaining Tigers riders found the going tough against a Birmingham team tipped to challenge for Elite League honours, even though their guest No.1 Ricky Ashworth endured problems of his own.

Danny King and Jason Doyle both scored four-ride maximums for the visitors, whilst Sheffield’s Richard Hall suffered an unlucky evening with two breakdowns when in scoring positions affecting his final tally – and they will hope such gremlins will be out of the system when the serious business of League Cup action starts at Leicester on Saturday.

SHEFFIELD 30: Simon Stead 10, Ricky Wells 6, Facundo Albin 5, Richard Hall 4, Joe Haines 2, Damien Koppe 2, Jake Knight 1.

BIRMINGHAM 60: Martin Smolinski 15, Jason Doyle 11+1, Danny King 11+1, Ben Barker 9, Josh Auty 7+1, Nico Covatti 5+1, Ricky Ashworth 2.

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