Determined Sheffield gave a gutsy display but missed out on valuable league points in a 54-39 defeat at Scunthorpe last night.
The brave Tigers played their part in a scintillating clash at the Eddie Wright Raceway, yet their tireless efforts were without reward despite hopes of a consolation point at one stage.
The meeting proved a cagey affair early on, but Scunthorpe struck four devastating 5-1s in quick succession to leave the visitors 16 points behind by heat 10.
However, skipper Simon Stead and Andre Compton rolled back the years to respond with a huge 8-1 and catapult their side back into contention.
Yet the Tigers’ hopes were quickly dashed when Simon Nielsen was harshly excluded following a colossal battle with Thomas Jorgensen in heat 12, allowing Scunthorpe to again seize control with a 5-1 of their own in the rerun.
It proved a fatal blow for Sheffield as they were left with a mountain to climb, and despite their brave efforts they missed out on a consolation point.
Star man Stead led by example for the Owlerton outfit to again top score, whilst exciting Aussie Taylor Poole proved a trump card at reserve as he continued his upturn in form.
Yet middle order man Nielsen experienced a nightmare evening despite being involved in some close racing whilst experienced pair Lanham and Compton were largely ineffective.
With Ty Proctor also enduring a tough night from the No 5 spot, the Tigers simply lacked the firepower needed to match their strong neighbours despite their resilience creating some stunning action.
Scunthorpe 54: Nicolai Klindt 14, Thomas Jorgensen 13+1, Ashley Birks 8+2, Josh Auty 8+2, David Howe 6+2, Ryan Douglas 5+1, Matt Williamson 0.
Sheffield 39: Simon Stead 15+1, Taylor Poole 9, Leigh Lanham 6, Ty Proctor 4, Andre Compton 2+1, Josh Bates 2, Simon Nielsen 1.