Speedway: Sheffield Tigers pair fall at semi-final stage

Simon Stead represented Sheffield Tigers alongside Kyle Howarth in the Premier League Pairs
Simon Stead represented Sheffield Tigers alongside Kyle Howarth in the Premier League Pairs
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Sheffield were unable to repeat their 2010 Premier League Pairs glory despite a fine run to the semi-finals at Somerset last night.

Simon Stead and Kyle Howarth, who had been called up to for the injured Jason Garrity, saw their hopes ended by the home side just when they looked set to spoil the party.

The Tigers duo came through their group with 21 points in what turned out to be a tight battle with Edinburgh and Plymouth.

Howarth won two races, including a fine effort in Heat 8 to get the better of Ipswich’s Nico Covatti, whilst Stead was solid with second places in three of his outings.

Tigers needed to avoid conceding a maximum to Plymouth in their last qualifying ride to make it through to the semi-finals, and they achieved that with Stead splitting Todd Kurtz and Jack Holder.

But the fact that they finished two points behind Edinburgh meant they would face the Group A winners in the semi-final, with Somerset duo Josh Grajczonek and Rohan Tungate having scored 26 points from a possible 28 as they went through with Glasgow.

Tungate took the lead in the semi-final but under the Pairs scoring system, the second and third places which Howarth and Stead held for the first two laps would have been enough to take them through.

But Grajczonek pulled off a stunning ride to pass both Tigers riders, with the Rebels going on to defeat Edinburgh in the Final to take the trophy on home soil.