Sheffield Tigers 41 Berwick 52
SHEFFIELD’S Premier League campaign went from bad to worse as they were humbled at home by lowly Berwick last night.
The Tigers have long been out of play-off contention but were urged in the week to finish their season strongly, but they did the exact opposite as an under-strength side were blown away by a team just one place below them in the league table.
Despite the Bandits missing key riders themselves, they ran into an early lead and that was extended to a huge 12-points after just five races, which left Sheffield with a mountain to climb.
In fairness to the Tigers they responded well intially, reducing the deficit to just three after nine heats after a string of heat advantages - including a tactical ride win for the returning Josef Franc.
After that though they collapsed once again, allowing Berwick to charge in to a 13-point lead with two races to go and it was then down to the margin of their victory.
A penultimate race 5-1 wasn’t enough to spare Sheffield’s blushes, and the Bandits left Owlerton with all four league points and with the under-performing Tigers licking their wounds.
Richard Hall deserves credit for his battling display as he won his last three heats to score 12 overall, and his back-up came from the ever consistent Hugh Skidmore with 10.
Chris Schramm plugged away all evening and notched paid-10 as a reward, but beyond that there was very little for Sheffield to be positive about as they crashed to yet another home defeat.
TIGERS: Hall 12, Skidmore 10, Schramm 8+2, Franc 6, Wells 5, Knight 1+1, Rider Replacement.
BERWICK: Dyer 13+1, Bellego 12+1, Bjerre (G) 11+2, Aspegren 10, Jakobsen 4+2, Barrett 1, Rider Replacement.