Sheffield Tigers last chance of silverware this season is now gone as they were easily beaten in the Premier League Cup semi-final against Newcastle yesterday.
After being eliminated from the Knockout Cup early on and with league glory a distant memory this trophy represented the Tigers’ only chance of success this season but they just weren’t good enough over the two legs and were well beaten.
The city side headed to the North East with a four-point lead from Thursday’s first leg at Owlerton but they were simply blown away by the Diamonds and never looked like they would have enough to overcome their opponents on their home track.
An already large mountain became even larger for the Tigers to climb when Richard Hall withdrew from the meeting after his first race with a shoulder injury, and Sheffield had used both of their tactical rides by heat eight.
Although both of those races yielded double points they still weren’t in contention and a four-point lead had turned into a 14-point deficit at the meeting’s halfway stage.
Newcastle reeled off 5-1 after 5-1 and if it wasn’t for Ricky Wells and guest Richard Lawson the scoreline could have been an awful lot worse.
The Diamonds’ place in the final was confirmed with four races remaining and Wells and Lawson contributed all but six of Sheffield’s 34 points, and were the only visiting riders to beat an opponent.
Wells won three races on his way to an impressive 15, again highlighting his prowess on away tracks, while Lawson notched paid-14.
He was an excellent replacement for injured captain Simon Stead, who was released from hospital at the end of last week.
Beyond that there was no support and the collective scores of Joe Haines, Facundo Albin, Damien Koppe and Adam Roynon will be a worry to the Tigers management team.
* Newcastle; Worrall 12+1, Henry 11+1, Lindgren 9+1, Kerr 8+3, Robson 8+2, Schramm 7+3, Tully 7+2.
* Sheffield; Wells 15, Lawson 13+1, Roynon 2, Koppe 2, Albin 2, Hall 0, Haines 0.