Thursday August 17, 2017
CAPTAIN Kyle Howarth hailed Sheffield’s resolve after an inspired fightback to overcome Newcastle 53-37 at Owlerton.

The Sheffield Window Centre Tigers found themselves six down after five heats with visiting guest Ryan Douglas proving their tormentor in chief.

Scunthorpe’s Douglas, currently riding off a 5.77 Championship average, set the fastest time of the night and won heats one and five to set a few nerves jangling.

Sheffield’s own star guest Scott Nicholls led the fightback with a tenacious ride, squeezing into the tightest of gaps around the outside to take the sixth and swing the pendulum.

Howarth and Jan Graversen hit back with a 5-1 to level matters in the heat seven and from there, the Tigers did not look back.

Lasse Bjerre and the previously-scoreless Josh Bates got the better of Diamonds number one Robert Lambert in heat nine as home riders finished first in each of the final seven rides.

Howarth was the pick of the bunch, getting the better of Douglas in heat 11 during his run of four straight heat wins to give the final result a far more familiar feel.

“We were six down at one point and that was a bit too close for our liking,” said Howarth. “We have not really been behind at home this season so we had a quick team talk during the grading break.

“The message was we needed to get our acts together and get it sorted but to Newcastle’s credit, they were strong at the start and the rider replacement played into their hands.

“Dougy was fast but we knew he would be. He is a good, talented rider who knows his way around tracks like ours.

“He was on it with three wins so when I went up against him in heat 11 I thought ‘right, I need to sort myself out here’. It was tough because he put in a great effort in that race too.

“Overall, I’m proud of our boys. There was a bit of pressure but we showed we could deal with it, we got it together and once the momentum got going in time for the big heats we all delivered.

“We don’t want any more of these nights, though. We need to make sure it does not happen again.”

The next challenge for Sheffield is Sunday's home clash with play-off rivals Edinburgh (3pm). Fans who bought programmes at the Newcastle meeting can redeem the voucher from page 43 to claim £5 off adult admission.

SHEFFIELD 53: Kyle Howarth 14, Lasse Bjerre 12+1, Scott Nicholls 9+2, Jan Graversen 8+2, Josh Bates 5+1, Todd Kurtz 5, Georgie Wood 0.

NEWCASTLE 37: Ryan Douglas 13, Stuart Robson 10, Robert Lambert 6+1, Ashley Morris 4+1, Alfie Bowtell 3, Ben Hopwood 1+1, Steve Worrall R/R.

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