Thursday May 16, 2013
THE SHEFFIELD WINDOW CENTRE TIGERS failed to to match their League Cup exploits in the Premier League Knockout Cup as they were knocked out by Rye House on Thursday.

14 points down from Saturday’s first leg, the Tigers knew they faced an uphill battle and especially without skipper Simon Stead, who is out with a broken hand.

Rye House are one of this season’s surprise packages and it’s against all odds that they qualified, riding with just five men in the first leg and having to do so again on Thursday when Jason Garrity withdrew from the meeting after just one ride.

Garrity suffered a broken leg after an unfortunate crash with Damien Koppe, and we wish the Mancunian a speedy recovery.

It was a tight encounter throughout and the biggest margin between the sides came after 15 heats, and it was only towards the very end of the meeting that the Rockets seized control of the meeting on the night.

They stole a four point march, taking their aggregate lead to 18, after 13 heats and with the prospect of qualification long gone it was down to Sheffield to try and stop a sixth straight defeat.

Richard Hall has become a master of heat 14 this year and again won that race to give the Tigers some hope, but the visitors romped to a 5-1 in the last race to win on the night by six points.

Craig Cook dropped just two points from his four races and Hall’s comeback from injury yielded nine, Ricky Wells was slightly below par with eight from five rides and Joe Haines finished with paid seven.

Jake Knight and Damien Koppe recorded their first collective 5-1 in heat two but failed to build on that, scoring three and three paid four respectively, while Argentine youngster Facundo Albin continued his steep learning curve with three.

The Window Centre Tigers now head to the West Country on Friday to take on league favourites Somerset at the Oak Tree Arena. Rye House’s Oliver Allen deputises for good friend Stead, who faces another 10 days on the sidelines.

Somerset, who narrowly missed out on a league point at Ipswich on Thursday night, will be without Nick Morris. Rider replacement will cover Morris’ rides as he recovers from a broken collarbone.

Sheffield 42; (Cook 10, Hall 9, Wells 8, Haines 6+1, Koppe 3+1, Knight 3, Albin 3)

Rye House 48; (Nelson 15, Allen 11, Mellgren 10+2, Lykke 6+2, Lambert 4, Garrity 2, RR for Bunyan)

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