Sheffield Tigers beat Berwick following final heat decider
Steely Sheffield showed plenty of resolve to produce an impressive comeback.
Tigers came out on top 46-44 against Berwick as fans were treated to a second successive last heat decider at Owlerton.
It was a reverse of the scoreline from Berwick on Saturday in which Tigers battled hard for a consolation league point on the road, despite losing two riders.
Ty Proctor sustained a wrist injury while Zaine Kennedy suffered concussion after an alarming incident saw him snap the back straight fence.
But Tigers refused to be beaten on home ground - and dug deep to earn another league win at Owlerton.
Their start was poor to say the least as they were out-trapped on their way to conceding back-to-back maximums in the opening two races.
And the deficit was soon ten points before skipper Kyle Howarth steadied the ship by taking the chequered flag in Heat Four.
Tigers Guest Cameron Heeps produced a classy ride to win the fifth before the first real turning point of the fixture.
Stand-in team boss Marc Bates wasted very little time in using the tactical substitution available to him - and he reaped the rewards when Howarth and No.1 Danny King took full advantage of a three rider re-run with a 5-1 after Berwick’s Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen crashes out of the initial staging.
Howarth looked on course for another win in the seventh, only to be denied when he lost a chain on the third lap, with reserve Broc Nicol’s pass on Busk Jakobsen gaining extra significance.
But Tigers reduced the gap to just two when Kasper Andersen and Nathan Greaves battled for a 5-1 in the eighth before Heeps came up with the goods again in Heat Nine.
The scores were soon all square and when King and Howarth combined for their second 5-1 of the afternoon, Tigers edged in front with just two races to go.
But the nerves were soon jangling again when Berwick responded with a maximum of their own to force the last heat decider.
It looked as though both teams would have to settle for a draw - but King had other ideas.
He eventually reeled in impressive visitor Dany Gappmaier before producing a stunning pass up the inside to bring the house down and snatch a late victory.
Tigers are next in action at Owlerton on Sunday, June 2, against Scunthorpe with a trip to Glasgow a week tomorrow (May 28) for their KO Cup decider.
SHEFFIELD 46: Danny King 12, Kyle Howarth 11+2, Cameron Heeps 11, Broc Nicol 5, Kasper Andersen 4, Nathan Greaves 2+1, Drew Kemp 1.
BERWICK 44: Dany Gappmaier 14+1, Jordan Stewart 9+2, Aaron Summers 7+1, Kevin Doolan 6+1, Nikolaj B Jakobsen 5, Leon Flint 3+2, Jye Etheridge R/R.