Sheffield Tigers survived a scare to keep their perfect League Cup group record with a hard fought win over Redcar at Owlerton last night.
But they are sweating on the fitness of Barnsley youngster Josh Bates who took a nasty knock early on and is doubtful for tonight’s Teesside return,
Tigers eventually came out on top courtesy of another resilient team effort to add three more points to their League Cup tally.
Bates wasn’t the only one out of luck. Andre Compton endured a torrid evening with two exclusions and a fall.
Yet they overcame their troubles with skipper Simon Stead striking another imperious maximum to lead them to victory.
Whilst Stead was in dominant form once again, it was perhaps the Tigers’ middle order that proved most crucial with Ashley Birks and Ty Proctor both impressive.
The fast-starting duo combined for a composed 5-1 in heat three to give their side an early advantage before again joining forces in heat nine to give them some breathing space. A Redcar maximum despite determined efforts from David Bellego and Arthur Sissis briefly threatened to force the visitors back into contention in heat 11.
Yet Stead stormed clear of opposing No.1 Lasse Bjerre in heat 13 before repeating the feat in the final race to wrap up three points.
With Stead leading by example plus Birks and Proctor forming a dangerous duo in the engine room of the side, Bellego notched a solid six points at No.5 whilst new-boy Sissis added a vital 6+3 to help cover the loss of reserve partner Bates.
It was another hugely encouraging night for the Tigers, as they overcame adversity to come out on top in a competitive clash.
Whilst it was certainly not the Owlerton outfit’s finest performance, they emerged with a well-deserved win on what was a tricky night to keep their confidence high with the season beginning to get into full swing.
They will do battle with the Bears again tonight in the return fixture at South Tees Motorsport Park searching for another victory to continue their perfect start.
n Sheffield 47: Simon Stead 15, Ty Proctor 9+1, Ashley Birks 8+2, Arthur Sissis 6+3, David Bellego 6, Andre Compton 2, Josh Bates 1.
n Redcar 40: Lasse Bjerre 15, Hugh Skidmore 12+1, Jan Graversen 5+1, Matej Kus 4, Rafal Konopka 3, Ben Morley 1+1.