Sheffield Tigers 51 Rye House Rockets 39
SHEFFIELD’S new-look septet outlined their potential with a comfortable win over Rye House at Owlerton last night.
The Tigers handed a home debut to new-boy Chris Schramm and there was a renewed buzz around Owlerton, and the team didn’t disappoint an expectant crowd. On one of the nicest evening’s of the year, the city side were made to sweat early on but they came through in the second half of the meeting to send their visitors back to Hertfordshire pointless.
Strength in depth has been the plan from Tigers management this year and they got just that with everyone contributing to the cause. New recruit Schramm has been away from the Premier League for over six months but showed signs of what he is capable of, scoring five from his last two rides after taking a couple of races to work his way back into it.
The home team got off to an unusually fast start and led by six points after just two races, but they were soon pegged back to two. Rye House, whose track is the complete opposite of Owlerton, showed excellent fighting spirit and didn’t allow the Tigers to race away until eventually, the steel men had too much power.
Richard Hall put in a captain’s performance and was a class above anyone else early on, winning his first two races by a quarter of a lap before eventually finishing with paid 11 points. Josef Franc again put in another stellar showing, with three classy wins amongst his 12.
Hugh Skidmore was clearly far from 100% fit after last week’s smash but still managed seven points, while Emiliano Sanchez produced some breathtaking passes to earn six plus two. Joe Haines notched an impressive eight but Ricky Wells didn’t have his best night with four plus one. Co-boss David Hoggart admitted he had to give his team a talking-to after ten heats. He said: “We were being run very close and were in real danger of dropping a point so I got the boys together and told them to re-focus. Rye House rode very well but we should not have dropped a point. Thankfully the boys upped their game and we came through.”
TIGERS: Pepe Franc 12, Richard Hall 9+2, Joe Haines 8, Hugh Skidmore 7, Emiliano Sanchez 6+2, Chris Schramm 5, Ricky Wells 4+1.
rockets: Jordan Frampton 10+1, Charlie Gjedde 9+1, Luke Bowen 8+1, Jason Bunyan 8, Anders Mellgren 4+3, Jason Garrity 0, Ritchie Hawkins rider replacement.