Auty injury mars Tigers first leg Cup victory

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SHEFFIELD will take a 10 point lead into the second leg of their Knockout Cup quarter-final at Workington tomorrow.

But they have an injury concern surrounding Josh Auty who was taken to hospital following a heavy crash in Heat 5. With Auty suffering from concussion he may now be a doubt for the return fixture at Derwent Park.

Without the talented Auty, it was Ricky Ashworth who topped the score charts at Owlerton last night with a 14-point haul and Shane Parker was in decent form with his 11+2 score.

It was Ashworth and Hugh Skidmore who put Sheffield in front with a 4-2 in the opening race and their lead was increased to 15-9 when Parker and Ashley Birks slammed in a maximum in race 5.

But with Auty missing from the re-start of Heat 5 the Comets capitalised to reduce the deficit with a 5-1 of their own, but the Tigers quickly restored their six-point advantage one race later with Ashworth and Skidmore racing to a five-pointer.

Parker then beat James Wright to the chequered flag in Heat 11 and Simon Lambert burst past Richard Lawson for a 4-2 that put the Tigers 37-29 ahead.

Workington hit straight back through with a 4-2 in Heat 12 and Wright won the battle of the big guns in Heat 13, leaving just six-points separating the two teams going into the penultimate race.

It stayed that way when Rusty Harrison then won a shared heat 14 from Emilano Sanchez and Lambert.

There was then more drama at the start of Heat 15 when Comets duo Wright and Harrison were involved in a heavy first bend fall, with Tomas Topinka then having to replace Wright in the re-run. When the race got back underway Ashworth led all the way and Parker passed Topinka meaning the Tigers have a ten-point advantage to take to Cumbria at the weekend.