Speedway: Proper workout for Sheffield Tigers against Scunthorpe, admits boss Simon Stead
Sheffield team boss Simon Stead admitted his highly-rated side had a “proper workout” against a tough Scunthorpe outfit.
The Tigers finally overcame the stubborn Scorpions 49-41 in the Championship Shield on a night when they were hit by lots of gremlins at Owlerton.
But the biggest hero was 16-year-old Drew Kemp who produced a sensational debut with paid 14 from six rides.
Stead said: “That was a proper workout. The boys had to dig deep there to get the result because Scunthorpe got close at times.
“We had lots of problems which held us back a bit. But overall I’m delighted by the way they ground out a result despite being up against it at times.
“We knew that Scunthorpe would give us a hard meeting, they always do here. They have track specialists and they proved that once again.
“But there are so many positives from this result. Obviously Drew will get all the attention and he was excellent.
“However it’s our job to protect him from high expectation. I think he will deal with it no problem. He’s a level-headed lad.
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“It overshadowed Zaine Kennedy’s performance because paid 10 from him at No.2 in the team is also outstanding. It’s a very solid start and I’m glad Scunny gave us a hard meeting. It’s the perfect meeting for us.”
Tigers always led throughout after an opening heat 5-1 from powerhouse pair Danny King and Kennedy.
But a succession of problems gave Scunthorpe a way back into contention. Home Aussie Ty Proctor was twice penalised for starting infringements, the latter in Heat 5 extremely controversial. Earlier highly-rated Dane Kasper Andersen flipped his machine at the start and landed awkwardly - and he never looked the same thereafter.
At that point the visitors had reduced the deficit to just four points. But there King/Kennedy cool opening pair took the honours in Heat 10 to give the home side control again.Scunthorpe hit back with a big tactical substitute 5-1 in Heat 11 but Proctor, after a tough start to the meeting, regained his composure to wrap up the points with Kemp three races later.
King rounded off his own excellent display to win the final heat on an exciting night at Owlerton which proved that the Tigers really will be a force to be reckoned with.
Tigers: Drew Kemp 13+1, Danny King 13, Zaine Kennedy 6+4, Kyle Howarth 6+1, Ty Proctor 6, Kasper Andersen 3, Broc Nicol 2+1.Scunthorpe: Jake Allen 13, Josh Auty 8+2, Stefan Nielsen 7, Jason Garrity 7, Josh Bailey 4, Jedd List 2, Ryan Kinsley 0.