Thursday April 20, 2023
SHEFFIELD were beaten for the first time in 2023 at Ipswich on Thursday - in the very last race of the night.

The Tru Plant Tigers put up a fantastic fight at Foxhall before conceding a 5-1 in Heat 15 to narrowly lose 47-43.

No more than six points ever separated the two sides in a truly competitive contest in Suffolk.

It was the South Yorkshire side who edged in front in Heat Two when reserve pairing Lewis Kerr and Dan Gilkes recorded a 4-2 following a 15 metre handicap penalty for former Tiger Danyon Hume.

4-2s from home duo Danny King and Keynan Rew in Heats Three and Five saw the hosts take the lead.

Ipswich then struck a 5-1 in Heat Seven to put the scores at 24-18 - but the Tigers delivered an instant reply with a maximum of their own in the eighth.

Rising Star Gilkes and captain Kyle Howarth outgated their rivals to move back to within two points of the Witches.

And they were soon a couple of points in front again when guest Scott Nicholls and Kerr combined for back-to-back maximums.

It was Ipswich who continued the run of 5-1s though with David Bellego and Adam Ellis conceding, just as they did in Heat Seven, as the pendulum swung back in the favour of the hosts.

A fired up Ellis came out battling in Heat 12 though to partner Kerr for a 5-1 as Sheffield restored their two point advantage.

Nicholls then produced a fine ride around his old home circuit to keep the powerful home pairing of Emil Sayfutdinov and Jason Doyle at bay.

But when Ipswich picked up their third 4-2 in the penultimate race, it set up a last heat decider.

After making another lightning start, Nicholls was eventually reeled in by Doyle before falling on lap three and a final 5-1 of the night saw Ipswich snatch victory at the death.

The Tru Plant Tigers head to King’s Lynn on Monday (April 24, 7.30) for the second leg of their Knockout Cup Quarter-Final where they hold a 26 point advantage from the first leg.

Racing returns to Owlerton next Thursday (April 27, 7.30) as Simon Stead’s men host Peterborough in the Premiership.

IPSWICH 47: Jason Doyle 13+1, Emil Sayfutdinov 11+2, Danny King 9+1, Danyon Hume 8+1, Keynan Rew 4, Joe Thompson 2, Erik Riss R/R.

SHEFFIELD 43: Scott Nicholls 11, Lewis Kerr 10+3, Adam Ellis 7, Kyle Howarth 6+1, Jack Holder 4+2, Dan Gilkes 4, David Bellego 1

Photo credit: JEFF HIGGOTT

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