Thursday April 26, 2018
SHEFFIELD blasted back to the top of their Northern Championship Shield group with a 49-40 home win over Redcar.

It was a third straight win at Owlerton in a meeting where the scoreline didn't necessarily reflect how comfortable the hosts had it.

A heavy rain shower delayed the start time by 25 minutes and only a 4-2 in Redcar's favour in heat two separated the two sides early on.

But the Sheffield Window Centre Tigers were rewarded for quick reactions in the mid-section of the meeting as they outgated their opponents to score three vital maximums in four races to get themselves in front.

And even when the Bears clawed their deficit back to within five points after being gifted a 5-0 in Heat Ten, the hosts responded well in the next two to open up an 11 point lead.

Sheffield team boss Simon Stead thought his riders coped well all-in-all and was pleased to maintain their unbeaten start at Owlerton.

"It was probably a little bit more of a hard fought victory tonight," Stead said.

"They've got some riders who do okay at our place and they'd booked a good guest in Ty Proctor too.

"We were battling with the conditions as well because the track was wet and that made gating even more important.

"As a team manager I look down the scorechart and to me the majority of the team have done their job.

"Okay TK (Todd Kurtz) has had a little bit of an off night but there were a couple of first bend incidents which impacted on his score.

"But all that matters is we've got more points on the board, Redcar haven't and so I'm going home happy enough tonight."

For the third home meeting in a row, winter signing Charles Wright was Sheffield's top scorer with three race wins and two second places on another solid night for the Cheshire racer.

Lasse Bjerre solved his recent engine issues and returned to form against his old employers, just being denied a paid maximum in Heat 15 when former Tiger Ty Proctor picked up his third win guesting for the visitors.

A fired-up Kyle Howarth bagged paid double figures despite bike problems in his third outing while reserve duo Jack Smith and James Shanes both notched six paid eight.

Todd Kurtz saw his tally hampered after being clipped in the first bend in the opening race and after being disqualified in his last ride for a rash move under Mikkel B Andersen.

Tigers head to Redcar on Friday for another big Championship Shield fixture (7.30) - a full preview will be issued on the morning of the meeting.

SHEFFIELD 49: Charles Wright 13, Lasse Bjerre 12+2, Kyle Howarth 9+1, Jack Smith 6+2, James Shanes 6+2, Todd Kurtz 3, Josh Bates r/r.
REDCAR 40: Ty Proctor 12+1, Mikkel B Andersen 7+2, Ben Barker 7, Jonas B Andersen 6, Theo Pijper 4, Jordan Stewart 2+1, Nathan Greaves 2+1.

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