Thursday April 05, 2018
THREE Sheffield riders went unbeaten by an opponent as they eased past Newcastle 59-31 in their Championship Shield opener at Owlerton on Thursday.

Title winning stars from last season Kyle Howarth and Lasse Bjerre both secured paid maximums, as did new face Charles Wright who rode superbly to bag a brilliant 16+2 effort on his debut.

Returning Aussie favourite Todd Kurtz earned three impressive wins on his way to eleven points while James Shanes featured in two 5-1 maximums for the hosts in his maiden second tier fixture.

Fellow new reserve Jack Smith endured a tougher occasion, but ended his night on an extremely positive note, making the gate and teaming up with Wright for a maximum in the penultimate race.

Sheffield Window Centre Tigers team boss Simon Stead said: "I couldn't have asked for much more from the boys tonight.

"Right from heat one they were up for it, they were focussed on getting off to a winning start and I have to say, the togetherness between the boys already was really impressive.

"With no disrespect to Newcastle, we will face much, much tougher tests than them this season.

"But we've opened with a win nevertheless and it's a great confidence boosting performance from all the boys to get us up and running."

The Tigers return to Owlerton next Thursday (April 12, 7.30) as they begin their defence of the Championship title at home to Peterborough.

SHEFFIELD 59: Charles Wright 16+2, Kyle Howarth 14+1, Lasse Bjerre 11+1, Todd Kurtz 11, James Shanes 5+2, Jack Smith 2+1, Josh Bates R/R.

NEWCASTLE 31: Carl Wilkinson 6+1, Lewis Rose 6, Stuart Robson 5+1, Tero Aarnio 4+2, Matthew Wethers 4+1, Ashley Morris 4+1, Ludvig Lindgren 2 Championship Shield points: Sheffield 3 Newcastle 0.

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