Cup agony as Tigers go out by two points

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Workington 51

Sheffield Tigers 39

(Aggregate 91-89)

TIGERS boss Eric Boocock praised the effort of his riders after they were dealt a knockout blow by Workington.

Boocock’s boys went out of the cup at the quarter-final stage by an agonising two-points in a thrilling last heat decider.

And he said: “I cannot fault the effort of anybody. A couple of the boys had an off-night but that’s always likely to happen and generally I’m happy with the way the season is going.

“It’s a shame we’re out of the cup but we are even more determined to kick on in the league after this setback.”

Tigers, inspired by the brilliance of Shane Parker, staged a late fightback to bring themselves back into contention but finished just short.

With Josh Auty ruled out following his crash in the first leg, both sides used the rider-replacement facility as Workington were still without Peter Kildemand – and the Comets also called up Ty Proctor of Elite League Wolverhampton to guest for the injured James Wright.

Tigers kept in touch early on thanks to a 5-1 in Heat 4 from Parker and lively reserve Ashley Birks, but the home side levelled the aggregate scores in Heat 7 and a 5-1 from Rusty Harrison and Kenny Ingalls in the next race put them ahead.

Parker and Ricky Ashworth collected race wins, but Comets appeared home and dry with maximum points from Heat 12 to put them eight-up overall – only for Ashworth and Parker to hit back by both passing Proctor in Heat 13 as Tomas Topinka ground to a halt.

The visitors managed to share Heat 14 with Ingalls left at the back, and that left Tigers’ top two needing to repeat the feat in the decider to level the scores, this time facing Rusty Harrison and Richard Lawson. Parker led away as Ashworth was left chasing, but although the Sheffield skipper managed to go past Harrison on the second lap, he couldn’t quite get on terms with Lawson and Tigers were left frustratingly just short of their target.

WORKINGTON 51: Lawson 14+2, Harrison 12+2, Proctor 8+1, Topinka 6, rving 6, Ingalls 5+2, Kildemand r/r.

SHEFFIELD 39: Parker 15+2, Ashworth 9, Birks 7+2, Sanchez 4, Skidmore 2, Lambert 2, Auty r/r.