Thursday March 30, 2017
SHEFFIELD co-promoter Damien Bates hailed their free admission offer as a great success after seeing his side edge a 47-43 win over Somerset.

The Window Centre Tigers demonstrated character and tenacity in abundance to overcome SGB Premiership opposition in front of a bumper crowd.

It was a superb night for the club as they got their home campaign off to a perfect start – and Bates was delighted after their victory.

“The crowd was fantastic,” Bates said. “We drew in over 2,500 people and I never expected that many, so the response was superb.

“The atmosphere was electric and the racing was great, so if that doesn’t entice people back then I don’t know what more we can do.

“Heat eight was fantastic, with Josh (Bates) battling with Paul Starke, Todd Kurtz and Robert Branford were superb in heat 14 and there were some really close battles.

“I know Somerset didn’t have their full team out because of us using Josh Grajczonek, but they were battling hard and wanted that win.

“Somerset have always been a hard team for Sheffield to beat, but we rode fantastically and to get that result in our first home meeting in front of that crowd is brilliant.”

Skipper Kyle Howarth pulled off a tremendous heat 15 win to seal victory for the Owlerton outfit, whilst No.1 Josh Grajczonek helped them take an early lead by going unbeaten in his first three rides.

Middle order man Todd Kurtz and reserve Robert Branford also played vital roles and combined for what proved to be the decisive 5-1 in the penultimate race.

With local lad Josh Bates notching two race wins, plus Lasse Bjerre and Jack Parkinson-Blackburn adding important points, the Tigers came out on top in a tight meeting.

They will now prepare to welcome Berwick to Owlerton for their first home fixture in the SGB Championship next Thursday (7.30).

SHEFFIELD 47: Kyle Howarth 11, Todd Kurtz 9, Josh Grajczonek 8+1, Rob Branford 7+3, Josh Bates 7, Lasse Bjerre 3+1, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn 2+2.
SOMERSET 43: Patrick Hougaard 12+1, Charles Wright 10+1, Rohan Tungate 7, Jan Graversen 5+1, Paul Starke 5, Jake Allen 4+1, Nathan Greaves 0.

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