Sunday April 21, 2019
TEAM boss Simon Stead conceded Sheffield had been “caught out” in the 47-43 defeat to Leicester that ended their Championship Shield ambitions.

The Sheffield Window Centre Tigers led by six early on but got pegged back and trailed by heat nine, levelling the meeting with a race to go only to succumb to ex-Owlerton ace Josh Bates and the savvy Scott Nicholls in heat 15.

It is a result that means either Scunthorpe or Redcar will finish second in Northern Group behind the Lions following away defeats to the Scorpions and Leicester over the Easter period.

Stead said: “It goes without saying that we are all disappointed, me and the boys, but what can you do?”

“We were without Broc (Nicol, injured at Leicester on Saturday) and I could not get the necessary cover I needed for him at such short notice.

“We got caught out. You look down the score card and everybody did their bit but Leicester were just that bit better on the day than we were.

“There is a bit of time of now, our next meeting for the team isn’t for a fortnight so we have time to regroup, sort ourselves out and hopefully come back a better team.”

Home number one Danny King, who top scored for the Tigers with 11, made a rip-roaring start with Drew Kemp comfortably holding off the brief challenge of Scott Nicholls in the opener.

Zaine Kennedy survived a scruffy start to file in behind Connor Mountain to split the Lions in the reserve race before Ty Proctor and Kasper Andersen sauntered around for a maximum that put Sheffield six up.

That was wiped out when Richie Worrall made a blistering start from the outside gate with Kyle Howarth suffering a wobble on turn two while pursuing Mountain in the fourth.

Proctor and Andersen had trouble in the first two bends of heat five following a track grade and tucked in behind opponents before King and Kemp cruised to an easy maximum over Worrall and Jack Thomas.

Bates led from the off in the seventh while Worrall pounced on another Howarth wobble for second.

Kennedy fell in the eighth but Kemp, back out for the re-run as the sole Tiger, soared around Ellis Perks and held off his rival for a shared race.

Proctor shed a chain in the first turn of the ninth, allowing Worrall and Thomas to put the Lions ahead for the first time in the meeting.

King battled back from a poor start to get by Bates in a shared 10th but Howarth turned the tide by taking heat 11 with Kennedy holding on to a bucking bike in third.

A fired-up Bates then produced the move of the day, diving around the outside of Kennedy before chopping up the inside of Andersen to take a shared 12th.

Nicholls stood firm to see off King’s tenacious pursuit in a shared 13th and Kennedy fought back in heat 14, being passed before repassing Bates in a feisty tussle up top to level.

But it was Bates who would have the last laugh, ripping around the outside in heat 15 while Nicholls held on for second to claim victory.

Next up at Owlerton is the Top Gun Championship on Sunday, April 28. The next meeting for the Tigers is a week later, at home to Birmingham in the Championship (both 4pm).

SHEFFIELD 43: Danny King 11, Drew Kemp 7+2, Kyle Howarth 7+1, Zaine Kennedy 7+1, Ty Proctor 6, Kasper Andersen 5+1, Kyle Bickley 0.

LEICESTER 47: Josh Bates 14, Scott Nicholls 11+1, Richie Worrall 9+1, Connor Mountain 8+3, Jack Thomas 3+1, Ellis Perks 2, Ryan Douglas R/R.

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