Thursday September 04, 2014
SHEFFIELD took to the track with a new riding order against the Comets. Recent trump card Taylor Poole stepped back up into the team with Ben Wilson dropping to reserve.

Again without Andre Compton, Tigers operated Rider Replacement in the number 2 position. The meeting was a cracker with passing in almost every race as the Tigers finally showed their potential against a strong Comets side featuring two former Sheffield riders.

Ben Wilson was paid for wins in the first two races, combining with Simon Stead for maximum points in heat one, and then winning the race as the teams shared the points in the second.

Heat 3 had some cruel luck for the Tigers. Taylor Poole made the gate, and with Leigh Lanham tucked in behind him it looked odds on that Tigers would take another maximum advantage. But first Poole's bike stopped on the final bend of lap three, and then Rene Bach squeezed past Lanham on the back straight of the final lap to give the Comets a heat advantage.

Covatti won the next race from a lively Kyle Howarth who had only just been confirmed fit to ride. With Bates close behind Howarth, the Tigers were again 4 points up.

It was Workington's turn for maximum points in heat 5. Grajconek and Wells made the first turn ahead of Taylor Poole and Leigh Lanham, and despite Poole climbing all over Wells' back wheel for two laps, he couldn't make an impression.

Stead won the next race from Howarth, but yet again Tigers hopes of an advantage disappeared on the last lap with Jacobs making up a huge distance to overhaul Lanham on the last bend.

Covatti was out in the next race, and what a race! Wilson and Covatti made the first turn ahead of the Workington pair, but Mason Campton rode a superb lap to pass Covatti and start to pressure Wilson. Covatti wasn't finished though and blasted round both Wilson and Campton on turns three and four of the second lap. Despite Wilson's apparent shock at his team mate's move, he hung on for second and It was a maximum for the Tigers.

Heat 8 saw Taylor Poole take the RR ride, and he blasted round the first turn and was gone. Bates tried to hold off the comets for two laps, but Wells forced his way under the British Under 21 champion. Simon Lambert made a robust challenge on the youngster but Bates held on to take the heat advantage.

There was another Tigers maximum in heat 9 courtesy of Poole and Lanham. Poole repeated his heat 8 effort to win the race easily, and Lanham had a real wheel to wheel battle with Howarth before the Tigers man fought his his way through into second..

Heat 9 was the race of the night if not the season. With Rene Bach taking a tactical ride and Josh Bates coming into partner Stead, it was Bates who shot from the gate to lead the race and stay there for 4 laps. Stead was shut out by the Comets on the first turn and with double points at stake, the Cumbrians tried to team ride him out. The three of them were wheel to wheel for the whole race before Stead finally passed both the opposition riders on the final bend to bring the house down.

Determined riding from Covatti in heat 10 prevented Grajconek from capitalising fully on the second tactical as the best Workington could manage was a 3-5.

12 points up, and it was Lanham who brought the house down in heat 12 as he came from behind in a sensational move to pass both the Comets who looked dead certain for a 5-1. A shared heat meant there were 12 points in it going into the last 3 races.

Nico Covatti was a faller on the third lap of heat 13 as he had the whole stadium on its feet as he went wider and wider in his attempt to pass Grajconek. As he went round the fourth bend, he had to bale out as he ran out of room and a 3-3 was awarded, with Stead taking his fourth paid win.

Taylor Poole and Ben Wilson rammed home another 5-1 in the 14th race to give the Tigers a 51-35 lead going into the final race in which Workington gained a consolation 5-1 to make the final score 52-40 Tigers Manager Joe Screen was delighted with his side. "Tonight we really showed what this team can do when they all fire at the same time. We've looked good on paper all season tonight we did it out on the track."

SHEFFIELD 52: Simon Stead 11+1, Ben Wilson 10+3, Taylor Poole 10, Nico Covatti 9, Leigh Lanham 7+1, Josh Bates 5, Andre Compton r/r

WORKINGTON 40: Josh Grajczonek 12, Kyle Howarth 8+2, Ricky Wells 6+1, Rene Bach 6, Joe Jacobs 3+3, Mason Campton 3, Simon Lambert 2

Premier League points: Sheffield 3 Workington 0

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