Speedway: Somerset Rebels 53 Sheffield Tigers 38

Sheffield gave top of the table Somerset an early scare but were unable to prevent a 53-38 defeat at the Oaktree Arena.

Friday, 12th August 2016, 9:15 pm
Updated Friday, 12th August 2016, 10:24 pm

Just 24 hours after condemning the runaway Premier League leaders to their first loss of the campaign, the Tigers missed out in their bid to complete a quick-fire double.

The Owlerton outfit roared into an early lead, with Josh Bates brilliantly battling past Brady Kurtz in the opening race before a shed chain for leader Jake Allen gifted them a 5-1.

They preserved their lead despite doing things the hard way, with Arthur Sissis and Jason Garrity battling back from 15 metre handicaps after touching the tapes for shared races in heats two and four.

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But when Garrity was picked off by Kurtz and Allen in heat six it gave the hosts a second successive 5-1 to turn the meeting on its head.

From that point on, the Rebels never looked back and prevented Sheffield from snatching a consolation point.

A fall for Garrity on the opening bend of heat nine allowed Somerset to establish breathing space – and a Kyle Howarth tactical ride in the next race failed to have the desired effect.

A brave blast from guesting No.1 Kurtz saw him hit the front for the home side, and Dimitri Berge failed to allow partner Howarth through for second place.

A 4-3 advantage left them with too much work to do, and a sensational ride from Paul Starke to see off Howarth in heat 12 all but ended their chances.

Key man Garrity endured a nightmare night, capped off by a puncture in heat 13, and with third heat-leader Howarth failing to record a race win they lacked firepower.

Skipper Stead took the chequered flag on two occasions, but the only other win from a visiting rider came as the battling Berge triumphed in the penultimate race.

Young gun Bates was in the thick of the action throughout, but it was not enough to overcome the powerhouse Rebels in arguably their toughest meeting of the season.

It has nonetheless been an encouraging two days for the Tigers, who will be looking to add to their Premier League tally at Newcastle tomorrow (6.30).

SOMERSET 53: Rohan Tungate 17, Paul Starke 12+2, Brady Kurtz 10, Bradley Wilson-Dean 9+1, Jake Allen 5+1, Luke Chessell 0, Charles Wright R/R.

SHEFFIELD 38: Dimtiri Berge 10+1, Simon Stead 8, Kyle Howarth 7+1, Josh Bates 5+1, Nathan Greaves 3+1, Jason Garrity 3, Arthur Sissis 2+1.