Ipswich Witches 57 Sheffield Tigers 35
A DEPLETED Sheffield side battled at Foxhall but went down to a 22 point defeat leaving them a mountain to climb in the Premier Trophy Challenge.
In poor weather conditions the Tigers were put to the sword by a strong Witches septet. It wasn’t the worst of starts for the city side but the meeting got away from them around the halfway stage when the home side notched several heat advantages to pull clear.
Without two of their more prolific scorers in Pepe Franc and Emiliano Sanchez, Sheffield needed their middle order to come good and it didn’t happen. Jason Bunyan, guesting in place of Sanchez, scored six but Hugh Skidmore had a bad evening with three retirements from four races, eventually scoring just two.
Richard Hall didn’t fare too much better with three points from five races and it was a disappointing return from Chris Schramm who scored paid four on his return to a place he used to call home.
Joe Haines showed why he is to be offered a contract for 2013 with paid nine but the star man for Sheffield was undoubtedly Ricky Wells, who looked superb on his way to 14 points. It now leaves the Tigers needing at least two victories from their remaining three PTC fixtures.
TIGERS: Wells 14, Haines 7+2, Bunyan 6, Schramm 3+1, Hall 3, Skidmore 2, Rider Replacement for Franc.