Speedway Report: Sheffield Tigers 48 Workington Comets 42 - Tigers leave it late to grab first win
Determined Sheffield produced a last heat maximum to secure the first win of their Championship title defence at Owlerton.
A 5-1 from captain Kyle Howarth and Danish dynamo Lasse Bjerre earned a hard fought 48-42 victory over Workington on a night where the reigning Champions had to dig deep.
Going into the final race, no more than two points had separated the sides in a tense encounter.
While Todd Kurtz made an excellent gate in the opener to lead a 4-2, the visitors hit the front in the third when Bjerre and struggling recent recruit Jan Graversen missed the start completely allowing former Tiger Ty Proctor and Brit sensation Dan Bewley to ease to a 5-1.
And after Howarth and Kurtz combined for a maximum of their own in the sixth, it was the Proctor, Bewley combination which ruined the mood once again, this time the latter coming around Charles Wright off the opening bends of Heat Seven as the Comets retook the lead.
After Workington reserve Mason Campton fended off the opposition to claim his third straight race win, Bjerre charged around Danish compatriot Nicolai Klindt off bends one and two with James Shanes tucking in for third to draw the scores level.
And while the Tigers again soon slipped narrowly behind, Wright and Howarth both smartly rode the boards to pass Workington No.1 Rene Bach over the course of the first two laps to seal a crucial maximum advantage in Heat 13.
The visitors gated on a 5-1 of their own in the penultimate race, but Shanes and Graversen both came under Campton to leave the Tigers’ fate in their own hands.
And while it was Proctor who led that final race, Howarth charged under the Aussie down the backstraight before Bjerre went from last to second, also getting past Proctor on the very last lap to round the night off in style for the Steel City men.
Tigers turn their attentions to the first leg of their Knockout Cup tie against Redcar at Owlerton next Thursday (7.30).
SHEFFIELD 48: Lasse Bjerre 12+1, Kyle Howarth 11+1, Charles Wright 8+1, James Shanes 8+1, Todd Kurtz 6+2, Jack Smith 2, Jan Graversen 1+1.
WORKINGTON 42: Ty Proctor 12, Mason Campton 10+1, Dan Bewley 8+2, Rasmus Jensen 5+1, Rene Bach 4+1, Nicolai Klindt 2, Kyle Bickley 1.