Tuesday October 03, 2023
SHEFFIELD boss Simon Stead has issued a rallying cry to the Club’s supporters - as he insists the 2023 Sports Insure Premiership Grand Final is ‘far from over’.

The Tru Plant Tigers were beaten 54-36 by Ipswich in the rearranged first leg in Suffolk on Tuesday leaving them with a big task on their hands if they are to lift their first ever top-flight league title.

Their cause wasn’t helped early on when SCB Referee Jim McGregor, controversially and questionably, opted to give Ipswich’s Emil Sayfutdinov and Danyon Hume second opportunities in Heat One and Heat Four respectively - despite there being more than enough supporting evidence for the two Witches to be disqualified from each of those races.

Nevertheless the Tigers continued to battle away and there were just four points between the two sides at the mid-stage.

But the hosts came on strong, claiming heat advantages in five of the last seven races to establish an 18 point lead with Josh Pickering producing a stunning ride in Heat 14 to go from third to first.

Whilst admitting it will be a stern challenge, Stead is refusing to give up belief and feels there is still a genuine chance for them to turn things around in the decider at Owlerton on Thursday (October 5, 7.30).

“Obviously I’m disappointed we weren’t able to keep it closer and the lads feel the same,” Stead said.

“There’s no real excuse for a couple of the decisions that went against us in the first few races and they definitely worked in Ipswich’s favour.

“We were still able to keep things pretty tight for the first eight races though - it was just a shame we let them pull away the way they did in the second half of the meeting.

“But while we would’ve liked to have kept it much, much closer, we’re far from giving up on that league title just yet because at the end of the day, we’ve still got 15 races at our place to turn it all around.

“Looking back on historic visits of Ipswich to Owlerton and knowing what those riders who will be representing Sheffield are capable of around there, let me tell you now that this contest is far from over and it’s by no means finished.

“Many people will make Ipswich the favourites I’m sure, but we have rode so well all season long at home and we fear nobody.

“As a group, we will all pull together and come out fighting and with a packed stadium and with the supporters even louder than we’ve heard them all season getting right behind us, we will give it our very best shot.”

Sheffield Speedway would like to remind supporters that season tickets are NOT valid for the decider at Owlerton on Thursday.

Children aged 17 and under will be admitted for just £1 with adult admission set at £22 while it’s £20 for concessions.

There will also be a special souvenir Grand Final programme available to purchase trackside for just £4, including reaction from Tuesday’s first leg at Foxhall.

IPSWICH 54: Jason Doyle 15, Emil Sayfutdinov 13+2, Danny King 10, Keynan Rew 5+1, Danyon Hume 5+1, Erik Riss 5, Joe Thompson 1+1.
SHEFFIELD 36: Robert Lambert 9, Josh Pickering 8, Richard Lawson 6, Jason Edwards 5, Kyle Howarth 3+2, Connor Mountain 3, Chris Holder 2+1.

Photo credit: JEFF HIGGOTT

Share This:   Facebook Twitter