Late Batchelor brilliance rescues point for Sheffield Tigers at Wolverhampton
Sheffield produced a late battling display to earn a consolation league point from their 48-42 defeat at Wolverhampton.
It was just a second Premiership point on the road for the Tigers - but it could prove to be vital in their play-off pursuit.
Nothing could separate the two sides in the opening four races but it was the hosts who came up with a dominant spell to stamp their authority on the meeting.
The Tigers fell 14 points behind with just five races remaining and it looked as though the fixture was slipping away from the Owlerton outfit.
But they refused to give up and won four of those final five heats - with No.1 Troy Batchelor swapping bikes to claim a hat-trick of victories.
That included taking the chequered flag in Heat 15 as the Tigers got the last race result they needed to ensure they headed back to the Steel City with something to show for their efforts.
Team boss Simon Stead said: “I’m not delighted because I think we could’ve done better and should’ve done better.
“But the fact is that we have got a point out of the meeting when actually at one stage it did look dead and buried.
“We did well early doors containing them, we then sort of lost the set-up a little bit and they hit us hard.
“We had a chat between ourselves though, we knew if we got it right we could be stronger at the end of the meeting and that’s how it proved.
“So I’m pleased with the fight that we showed, we’ll take the positives which is we’ve got a consolation league point and it’s something more to work with at least.”
Batchelor led the inspired late charge with Justin Sedgmen also coming up with a big ride in Heat 14 as he ended his night on a high.
Heat-leaders Adam Ellis and Jack Holder managed seven points apiece while Kyle Howarth provided another steady contribution against the side he won the league with in 2016.
Guest reserve Tom Brennan, who stepped in at short notice for Josh Bates who tested positive for Covid-19 on the day of the meeting, recorded four important third places while James Wright’s points in the reserves race also played their part.
Sheffield head back to Peterborough next Monday (July 12, 7.30) with tickets now on sale for the next home fixture at Owlerton against King’s Lynn on Thursday, July 15 (7.30) via
WOLVERHAMPTON 48: Sam Masters 10+1, Luke Becker 8+2, Rory Schlein 8, Ryan Douglas 7+1, Nick Morris 6+1, Broc Nicol 6, Leon Flint 3.
SHEFFIELD 42: Troy Batchelor 11+1, Adam Ellis 7+1, Jack Holder 7, Kyle Howarth 6, Justin Sedgmen 5, Tom Brennan 4+3, James Wright 2.