Sheffield’s injury crisis went from bad to worse as Andre Compton was taken to hospital for precautionary scans on a neck injury following a horrific crash in their defeat against Somerset last night.
Taking on the reigning Premier League Champions in front of the Sky cameras, the unfortunate Tigers entered the meeting with three riders still nursing injuries and slipped to a disappointing defeat in a scintillating clash.
They made a lightning start to race into a six point lead before understandably fading as the meeting progressed as they suffered a disappointing defeat.
A night of spectacular action then ended on a sour note, with fans’ favourite Compton suffering a horrific heat 14 crash.
Veteran Compton had put in a fine showing to lead the Tigers in the absence of skipper Simon Stead.
He utilised all his experience to fend off Brady Kurtz in his opening ride before he bravely blasted around Nick Morris on the opening lap of heat five.
He had again hit the front in fine style in the penultimate race before bike problems threw him from the motorcycle on the final bend causing him to leave Owlerton by ambulance following lengthy treatment.
Aussie ace Taylor Poole also continued his impressive form, prevailing in a wheel to wheel battle with talented Rebels youngster Kurtz to claim his second consecutive win in heat seven.
He was again involved in a breathtaking clash as he dived underneath Morris to triumph in a heat 11 before he ended a busy night with 16+1 points.
However, the Tigers’ recent injury problems caught up with them as several riders struggled on a difficult night.
Both Ty Proctor and Leigh Lanham battled hard for little reward before being pulled out of their final rides as they continue to feel the effects of thigh and back problems respectively.
British Under 21 Champion Josh Bates also struggled as he returned from a wrist injury down at reserve, whilst Ben Wilson failed to build on a superb heat one win.
Despite a typically determined showing, Richard Lawson struggled to fill the shoes of Simon Stead as the Tigers lacked the depth required on a frustrating night.
Joe Screen’s men will travel to Somerset tonight in the return fixture at the Oak Tree Arena.
*SHEFFIELD 39: Taylor Poole 16+1, Richard Lawson 8+1, Andre Compton 8, Ben Wilson 3, Leigh Lanham 2+1, Ty Proctor 2, Josh Bates 0
*SOMERSET 51: Brady Kurtz 13, Mick Morris 9+1, Oliver Allen 9, Charles Wright 6+2, Paul Starke 6+1, Pontus Aspgren 5+1, Todd Kurtz 3+1