Much-improved Tigers picked up their first away point of the Premier League season at Leicester last night – and were not far away from even snatching a win.
The Owlerton men fought back from a mid-meeting ten-point deficit and all the momentum appeared with them as they slashed the gap back to one ahead of the final four races of a match put back 24-hours due to heavy rain on Saturday.
But a disastrous Heat 14 saw them concede a 5-1 to Kevin Doolan and reserve guest Charles Wright, who kept the returning Andre Compton and previously impressive Facundo Albin at bay to end Tigers’ victory chances.
Albin had earlier played his part in the revival, especially in winning Heat 11 to combine with value-for-money guest Nick Morris for a 5-1 ahead of Magnus Karlsson.
That maximum advantage backed up a 7-2 in the previous race when Ricky Wells, who recovered well from a first-ride last place, took the full six-pointer from a tactical ride with Compton third as the Tigers were split by the home side’s No.1 guest David Howe.
Doolan and Lasse Bjerre had earlier carded 5-1s in all three of the races where they appeared as a pairing, which was the sole reason for Leicester’s apparently comfortable lead after Heat 9.
The penultimate race setback left Tigers needing to avoid conceding an advantage in Heat 15 to ensure they took a point from the meeting, and their task was made easier when Doolan touched the tapes and was penalised 15-metres.
Morris, who had been within six-hundredths of the track record in the first race, duly completed a terrific display with another win, which meant Doolan’s late pass on Wells for third place was of academic interest.
LEICESTER 49: Kevin Doolan 11+3, Magnus Karlsson 10, Lasse Bjerre 9+2, David Howe 6+2, Jan Graversen 6+1, Charles Wright 6+1, Robert Branford 1+1.
SHEFFIELD 44: Nick Morris 12+1, Ricky Wells 12, Facundo Albin 8+2, Adam Roynon 6, Andre Compton 4, Joe Haines 2, James Sarjeant 0.