Struggling Sheffield Tigers slumped to their heaviest defeat of the season at Newcastle last night, losing 66-29.
It was Sheffield’s tenth successive away defeat.
The visitors relied on guest Kevin Doolan and American World Cup star Ricky Wells but there was little support in a disappointing display.
But their cause wasn’t helped by a heavy fall for both reserves in the second heat, which saw Damien Koppe withdraw from the meeting.
Five Sheffield riders managed just nine points between them in a display symptomatic of the city team’s away failings this year.
Ricky Wells is by far the Tigers’ most consistent away performer and he did his best to spare their blushes, racing to 11, while number one Kevin Doolan scored 10.
*Newcastle: Richie Worrall 14+1, Andrew Tully 14+1, Stuart Robson 13+1, Lewis Kerr 10+2, Ludvig Lindgren 10+1, Chris Schramm 5+2, Christian Henry R/R.
*Sheffield: Ricky Wells 11, Kevin Doolan 10, Adam Roynon 4,Andre Compton 2, Facundo Albin 1, Damien Koppe 1, Joe Haines 0.
*Former Sheffield favourite Ricky Ashworth is in the intensive care unit at Hull Royal Infirmary after a horror crash at the weekend.
Ashworth has spent all but two seasons of his glittering Premier League career with the Owlerton side and remains a firm favourite while on loan to Berwick.
He crashed heavily on Friday at Scunthorpe suffering serious injuries although scans have shown there are no broken bones in the neck and back.
Sheffield co-promoter David Hoggart, who was at the meeting, said: “It’s still far too early to speculate on Ricky’s condition until the medical experts provide a further update. Everybody here wishes Ricky well.”