Tigers pay for bad start as unbeaten run is ended

Battle: Shane Parker on the inside of Somerset's Cory Gathercole.
Battle: Shane Parker on the inside of Somerset's Cory Gathercole.
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TIGERS unbeaten record came to an abrupt end when they were beaten by four points by Premier League title hopefuls Somerset last night at Owlerton.

Eric Boocock’s side went into a last heat decider needing a 5-1 to draw after consistently being beaten from the gate by the Rebels.

And once again Somerset made a flying start when Christian Hefenbrock and Travis McGowan flew out of the gate. Shane Parker battled from the back to first place on the last lap, but Josh Auty failed to get past the visiting duo.

It got off to a bad start for Sheffield when they suffered their first of three 5-1 setbacks in the opening heat, as McGowan and James Holder carded a maximum.

After that they fought back to level the scores at 18-18, but Somerset hit back with another 5-1 in heat 7 to take a four-point lead.

Tigers did get their noses in front after heat 9 with a 5-1 of their own from Ricky Ashworth and Emiliano Sanchez, but the Rebels raced to their third maximum in race 12 through the fast-starting Hefenbrock and flying reserve Dakota North. It gave them a lead they would never relinquish.

Top scorer for the Tigers was Parker with 11+1 and Ashworth was close behind with three wins but suffered a crucial engine failure.

The Rebels were solid throughout with Hefenbrock scoring three wins in his 13-point tally.

SHEFFIELD: 43 – Shane Parker 11+1, Ricky Ashworth 9, Josh Auty 7, Hugh Skidmore 6, Emiliano Sanchez 4+1, Simon Lambert 4, Ashley Birks 2

SOMERSET: 47 – Christian Hefenbrock 13, Dakota North 11+3, Travis McGowan 8+3, James Holder 7, Sam Masters 4+2, Cory Gathercole 4+1, Kyle Hughes r/r