Tigers left sweating on fitness of young Josh

Josh Bates crashes out in heat 10
Josh Bates crashes out in heat 10
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Sheffield were left sweating on the fitness of Josh Bates as their injury crisis deepened in last night’s entertaining 52-40 win over Workington.

Tigers entered the meeting severely depleted with Ty Proctor, Andre Compton and Leigh Lanham still on the sidelines.

They put in a gutsy showing to pull off a superb win - but they found themselves awaiting news on British Under 21 Champion Bates after he crashed heavily attempting to round Mason Campton in heat 10.

The youngster had been in impressive form early on to bolster the Sheffield lower order before being forced to withdraw and travel to hospital for checks. It leaves then with an anxious wait as they prepare to travel to Berwick tomorrow already without three of their side.

Despite seeing their injury problems worsen, Joe Screen’s men held their nerve to add a big three points to their Premier League tally and climb off the bottom of the table.

Returning No.1 Simon Stead struck a superb 14 point haul to lead them to a magnificent win following a defiant display from their patched-up side.

From the moment Stead combined with local lad Ben Wilson to strike a 5-1 in the opening race the Tigers held the upper hand, before back to back maximums in heats three and four put them firmly in control.

Whilst skipper Stead was once again in imperious form, he received some vital support from throughout the Tigers’ side.

Guesting middle order men Ashley Birks and Kevin Wolbert both performed admirably, plus Ben Wilson and Taylor Poole also put in solid showings.

They joined forces for a vital maximum in heat 12 to all but assure victory before Stead and Wolbert wrapped up a tremendous triumph and all three points in the final race.

n Sheffield: Stead 14, Wolbert 11+2, Poole 9+2, Birks 8+1, Wilson 6+1, Bates 4+1, Compton r/r.

n Workington: Grajczonek 11, Barrett 7+2, Bach 7, Howarth 5+2, Campton 5+1, Wells 5, Compton 0.