Thursday June 13, 2013
DAVID HOGGART admitted that his Sheffield Window Centre Tigers side were lucky to escape with a draw against Plymouth on Thursday night.

It was a thrilling evening at Owlerton with both sides leading at different stages, but the scores were level going into the final heat.

Simon Stead and Joe Haines were Sheffield’s representatives for heat 15 and Plymouth entrusted Cory Gathercole and Mikkel Bech, and it looked as if the away duo would be the hero’s as they gated on a 4-2.

The away side were just one bend away from victory when Bech shed a chain and that allowed Haines through for third, meaning the shares were spoiled.

Hoggart acknowledges that his side were afforded a huge slice of luck; “Plymouth should have won tonight, they were in a winning position but Bech fell and we got the draw. Let’s not pretend though, we got lucky tonight. There were still plenty of positives for us, but we did get a big slice of fortune.”

It was the Devils who took an early lead and they held that right up until heat 10, when the Tigers edged ahead by two courtesy of a Simon Stead and Joe Haines 5-1.

Three consecutive shared races meant that Sheffield led with two heats remaining but an inspired Gathercole won heat 14, and ex-Tiger Chris Schramm got third to set up the last race decider.

The positives for Sheffield were the continued improved form Joe Haines and Damien Koppe, who both picked up where they left off in last week’s victory over Berwick.

Haines tallied a season-best paid 14 and Koppe notched nine, and captain Stead reported no ill-effects from his shoulder injury.

“Damien was once again excellent and he’s really turned a corner, and the same can certainly be said for Joe too. They have had two brilliant meeting’s and naturally we hope they continue that form, and it was good for Simon to get through without any complaints.” said Hoggart.

“We did better than expected, especially without Facu, but we should have stormed it given the start Plymouth got off to. It didn’t happen though and now we head to Rye House on Saturday looking for points.”

Sheffield; Haines 12+2, Stead 11, Koppe 9, Wells 7+1, Hall 4, Knight 2, RR for Albin.

Plymouth; Gathercole 12+1, Lemon 7+2, Bech 7+1, Lawson (G) 6, Schramm 5, Kurtz 4+2, Anderson 4+2.

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