TIGERS kept up the pressure at the top of the table with a hard fought Premier League win over Berwick at Owlerton last night.
And once again veteran Shane Parker, in his final year before retirement, rolled back the years with a vintage display to inspire Eric Boocock’s men with an 15-point maximum haul.
But Sheffield had to recover from a worrying and sluggish start when Josh Auty suffered an expensive retirement in the first race and Emiliano Sanchez also pulled up in Heat 5 as the visitors held Tigers to 15-15.
But the deadlock was broken in a re-run of Heat 6 when Hugh Skidmore made a good start and the talented Auty put his gremlins behind him, as well as Berwick duo Lee Complin and Jade Mudgway, for a significant Tigers 5-1.
Ricky Ashworth and Kozza Smith were involved in a tense high speed battle in Heat 12 and the Sheffield man came to grief which allowed the Bandits a 4-2 to close the gap to four points with only three races to go of a pulsating contest. The race was, however, worth the admission money alone as both riders were fully committed.
But the decisive race of the night in the context of the match came in Heat 13 when Tigers duo Parker and Auty combined with a stunning display of team riding to hold out former Elite League star Seb Alden with Complin trailing at the back. The 5-1 opened up a 43-35 lead for Sheffield which put the meeting beyond Berwick and the fans were jubilant.
Another 5-1 followed and when the influential Parker completed his full house in Heat 15 the scoreline looked more emphatic after a late rally from the Owlerton outfit who have still only lost once at home.
SHEFFIELD: Shane Parker 15, Josh Auty 9+3, Simon Lambert 8+1, Hugh Skidmore 7, Ricky Ashworth 6, Emiliano Sanchez 5, Ashley Birks 3
BERWICK: Sebastian Alden 10, Kozza Smith 7+1, Ludvig Lindgren 6+2, Josef Franc 6, Lee Complin 5, Jade Mudgway 3+1, Mitchell Davey 1.