Sheffield Tigers speedway: Super heat secures Tigers' three points against Ipswich despite early injury blow
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But it took a superheat to secure the aggregate bonus points for the Tru Plant Tigers as the 12 point margin of victory was identical to the Witches’ winning margin at Foxhall a month ago.
In the superheat, Tigers duo Jack Holder and Tobiasz Musielak finished behind the impressive Emil Sayfutdinov, but managed to keep former world champion Jason Doyle behind them to take the bonus point, winning 5-4 on the pairs scoring system that was used.
Tigers were down to six riders before the end of heat one, after Lewis Kerr suffered a collarbone injury. With Kerr out for the rest of the meeting, the home side relied on rising star Dan Gilkes and skipper Kyle Howarth to take Kerr’s remaining rides.
The scores were close for much of the meeting, with just four points separating the teams at the end of heat 11. But Tigers pulled clear in the later stages, largely thanks to 5-1 advantages in heats 12 and 14.
Tigers skipper Howarth completed seven rides on a busy night, including an important role in a 5-1 success for Sheffield in heat five, taking second in a fine display of team riding alongside heat winner Gilkes.
Tigers win on the night put Sheffield five points clear of Ipswich in the Sports Insure Premiership table, with a meeting in hand, in fourth place in the table, which means they are currently occupying the last of the play-off positions.
Sheffield boss Simon Stead praised his group’s togetherness - particularly after losing Kerr so early.
He said: “We knew the importance of the result. We were desperate to maximise the amount of points we were taking out of the meeting and we managed to do that.
“We knew that it was going to be tough and at one stage, we were struggling to gain any distance at all. Losing Lewi wasn’t ideal; juggling races and trying to maximise what we’d got from each and every heat.
“It was difficult but credit to the lads, they pulled together and they knew what they needed to do."
“They raced hard every heat, it wasn’t always from the starts, there was some great racing out there and they were flying.”
Sheffield 51: Jack Holder 11 (1), Lewis Kerr 0, Adam Ellis 6, Josh Pickering 7, Tobiasz Musielak 11 (1), Kyle Howarth 12(3), Dan Gilkes 4
Ipswich 39: Emil Sayfutdinov 16 (1), Keynan Rew 5 (1), Danny King 7, Erik Riss 1, Jason Doyle 6, Danyon Hume 3, Dan Thompson 1.