Sheffield held their nerve to climb up to second in the Premier League with a 49-43 win at Scunthorpe last night.
Tigers roared into a comfortable lead early on and looked certain to claim their second away win of the season over the Scorpions.
However, they were forced to withstand a spirited fightback from the revamped hosts before eventually holding in to claim three Premier League points.
Skipper Simon Stead capped off another fine performance by taking the chequered flag in a breathless final race to seal victory.
Stead and Dimtri Berge – fresh from his win in the World Under 21 qualifier at Belle Vue on Saturday night – struck comprehensive 5-1s in heats one and five to set the Owlerton outfit on their way.
The impressive Kyle Howarth, however, proved the star of the show as he worked tirelessly to preserve their advantage.
His heat six win was backed up by a third place from Arthur Sissis to move them ten clear before Howarth brilliantly saw off Ryan Douglas as he took Scunthorpe’s tactical ride in the very next race.
The Tigers had been set for a 5-1 before Josh Bates encountered bike troubles on the final lap – but Howarth nonetheless protected their lead before the duo made amends with another 5-1 in heat 10.
At that stage, Sheffield looked certain to cruise to all four points – but Scunthorpe delivered successive 5-1s of their own to give the visitors a scare.
A stunning ride from former Owlerton favourite Josh Auty to overhaul Berge and Stead in the closing stages of heat 13 moved them within four points – but Stead bounced back to deliver a timely victory in the final race and prevent the hosts from snatching an unlikely draw.
It was a well-deserved win for the Tigers, who overcame the absence of influential No.5 Jason Garrity due to injury to earn their third consecutive victory.
The fire power of Stead, Howarth and Berge powered them to victory, whilst Bates, Sissis and battling youngster Nathan Greaves all offered crucial support with solid displays.
They ran just six last places and were unfortunate to miss out on all four points after another hugely encouraging display to bolster their Premier League title ambitions.
The in-form Tigers will aim to make it four wins on the bounce when they host Berwick at Owlerton on Thursday (7.30).
SCUNTHORPE 43: Ryan Douglas 15, Stefan Nielsen 12, Josh Auty 6+1, Alex Davies 5+2, Michael Palm Toft 4+1, Josh Bailey 1, Ryan Burton 0.
SHEFFIELD 49: Kyle Howarth 14, Simon Stead 13+1, Dimitri Berge 9+2, Josh Bates 6+1, Arthur Sissis 4, Nathan Greaves 3+2, Jason Garrity r/r.