Monday September 25, 2023
SHEFFIELD took a huge step towards the Sports Insure Premiership Grand Final after winning 50-40 at Wolverhampton on Monday.

For the second season in succession, the Tru Plant Tigers won the away leg of their semi-final at Monmore Green to put them in the driving seat ahead of Thursday’s (September 28, 7.30) second leg at Owlerton.

Skipper Kyle Howarth outmuscled Steve Worrall in the opening turns to hit the front in Heat One before guest No.1 Robert Lambert worked his way into third mid-race for an opening 4-2.

And after Wolves added three 4-2s of their own, it was that opening pairing that came up with another heat advantage of the same scoreline to bring the gap back to two.

Ryan Douglas seemed to have the race under control for the hosts before Lambert came storming underneath the Aussie down the back straight of the final lap.

Wolves struck their fourth 4-2 in Heat Six before Sheffield began to strut their stuff - winning the final nine races of the contest.

It started with successive shared races; Chris Holder produced a smart opening lap in the seventh to re-pass Zach Cook before Howarth charged under the Wolves duo of Worrall and Leon Flint in Heat Eight.

Sheffield were back level after the ninth though when guest pairing Drew Kemp and Richard Lawson combined for the first 5-1 of the semi-final. Kemp flew around the outside from gate four whilst Lawson rode a magnificent defensive ride to keep the Wolves duo of Douglas and Luke Becker behind.

Josh Pickering continued Sheffield’s winning streak in Heat Ten before retaking the lead in Heat 11.

Lambert and Howarth gated on a 5-1 until a mistake on bend two, lap two from the latter saw the Wolves pairing of Rory Schlein and Cook come through. But the skipper refused to be denied and cutback underneath Cook off bend four, into the final lap for the pairing’s third 4-2 of the tie.

That was the first of three straight 4-2s for the Tigers who sealed victory in the Black Country when Pickering took the chequered flag in Heat 14.

And the Steel City side rounded off in style as well; Masters initially led for the visitors before Lawson and then Lambert worked their way past the home skipper to generate that ten point advantage.

WOLVERHAMPTON 40: Sam Masters 7+1, Steve Worrall 7, Ryan Douglas 6, Zach Cook 5+2, Leon Flint 5+1, Rory Schlein 5, Luke Becker 5.
SHEFFIELD 50: Robert Lambert 12+1, Richard Lawson 10+1, Kyle Howarth 8, Josh Pickering 8, Chris Holder 6, Drew Kemp 4, Jason Edwards 2.

Photo credit: STEVE FEENEY

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