Thursday September 21, 2017
SHEFFIELD seized control of their play-off semi-final tie with Glasgow thanks to a dominant 59-31 first leg win at Owlerton.

The Window Centre Tigers got off to a rampant start and stormed into a 40-14 lead with just nine races gone courtesy of eight impressive heat advantages.

While the visitors were then able to claim two successive races in their favour, the hosts soon regained their superiority to secure a 28-point lead to take to Scotland for the second leg on Tuesday.

Tigers team manager Simon Stead said: "The boys were well up for this as you'd expect tonight and they rode unbelievably well.

"Glasgow tried applying the pressure on us in the press in the build-up and thankfully the team responded in brilliant fashion.

"We made a stunning start and hit them hard early on and I think that was always going to be important.

"The boys did make lives a bit easier for themselves by making sure they were faster out of the starts in the majority of races and that helped too.

"To gain such a lead is a fantastic effort from the team and they did the club proud again tonight - but there's still work to be done!"

Following a recent injury, local lad Josh Bates returned to Owlerton in style with a fine paid maximum. He rounded off his unbeaten night with a truly courageous blast around the boards to get by Richie Worrall in Heat 14.

For a third home meeting on the trot, Jan Graversen bagged double figures from the reserve berths while Lasse Bjerre achieved that feat for a ninth successive time.

Josh Grajczonek was only denied a paid maximum at No.1 after suffering a rare last place in Heat 10 while skipper Kyle Howarth produced a steady display for the Tigers.

Reserve Georgie Wood never gave up and arguably deserved more than the two points he managed from his three rides, while Todd Kurtz made his return to racing after almost a month out with a hand injury. The Australian built up to a solid victory in Heat Eight before being taken out of his final programmed ride as a precaution with Tuesday's second leg in mind.

SHEFFIELD 59: Jan Graversen 12+2, Josh Grajczonek 11, Lasse Bjerre 10+3, Josh Bates 10+2, Kyle Howarth 8, Todd Kurtz 6+1, Georgie Wood 2+1.

GLASGOW 31: Richard Lawson 11, James Sarjeant 10, Richie Worrall 4, Aaron Summers 4, Dan Bewley 2, Alfie Bowtell 0, Nike Lunna R/R.

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