Thursday May 31, 2018
CAPTAIN Kyle Howarth’s first thoughts were with injured rivals Ben Barker and Jack Parkinson-Blackburn despite Sheffield missing the chance to build an unassailable Knockout Cup lead.

The Sheffield Window Centre Tigers triumphed 44-28 against Redcar in a meeting abandoned after 12 heats due to passing the Owlerton curfew.

Barker and Parkinson-Blackburn collided in heat 13 with both suffering suspected collarbone injuries. Barker lost consciousness and both required hospital treatment.

Track medics had to stay with the duo until ambulances arrived, meaning the meeting was brought to a halt with Sheffield 16 to the good ahead of Friday’s return on Teesside (7.30).

“We needed as many points as possible, especially after going behind early on,” said Howarth.

“We pulled it back and it was good to get a strong lead to take up there, we could have done with those three last heats but my first thoughts are with Ben and Jack.

“No one likes to see riders hurt. We all wish them the best and a speedy recovery, it was not nice to see.”

The hosts cancelled out a four-point deficit by heat five, the second in a run of seven straight heat advantages for Simon Stead’s men.

Pick of the bunch was Todd Kurtz’s blast around the outside in heat eight to soar from battling at the back with Jonas B Andersen to take first.

After not registering a chequered flag in the opening three, a Tiger crossed the line first in the final nine in what proved to be a comfortable success.

Charles Wright racked up a three-ride maximum, hitting the front and using the dirt line beautifully on each occasion.

Sheffield travel to Teesside with a full one to seven but already-depleted Redcar’s plans have been thrown into chaos.

Parkinson-Blackburn had been due to guest again for Thomas Jorgensen. Mikkel B Andersen (Danish commitments) will be replaced at reserve by Nathan Greaves.

The Bears had been due to run rider replacement for number two Tobias Busch.

“It will be a big meeting up there. The lead is good but it will be tough and we need to stay focused to make sure we get the job done,” added Howarth.

“We all know what it will be like, it is always a racing track up there. We will have to be on it but the lads are ready and up for the challenge.”

THURSDAY’S SCORERS (abandoned after 12 heats, result stands)
SHEFFIELD 44: Charles Wright 9, Todd Kurtz 8+3, Lasse Bjerre 8, Kyle Howarth 8, Jan Graversen 6+1, James Shanes 4, Jack Smith 1.
REDCAR 28: Jordan Stewart 10+1, Mikkel B Andersen 8+1, Matej Kus 5, Ben Barker 4, Jonas B Andersen 1, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn 0, Tobias Busch r/r.

SHEFFIELD: Kyle Howarth, Todd Kurtz, Jan Graversen, Lasse Bjerre, Charles Wright, Jack Smith, James Shanes.

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