Speedway: Sheffield pledge to battle back after 18 point premiership final first leg defeat at Ipswich

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Sheffield pledge Owlerton fightback after speedway premiership final first leg defeat and concerns over Ipswich track

Sheffield have a mountain to climb at Owlerton on Thursday after an 18 point defeat in Ipswich in the first leg of their Premiership final clash.

Tigers trailed by only four points after heat eight, but Ipswich pulled clear in the second half of the meeting, in which the Witches' Jason Doyle scored a 15 point maximum, as the Witches pulled away into a 54-36 victory on the night.

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But speaking on Eurosport after the meeting, Tru-Plant Tigers guest number one Robert Lambert was unhappy over the state of the track, and with some of the refereeing decisions.

Josh Pickering scored eight points, and said Sheffield could turn the score around at home. Picture: David Kessen, National WorldJosh Pickering scored eight points, and said Sheffield could turn the score around at home. Picture: David Kessen, National World
Josh Pickering scored eight points, and said Sheffield could turn the score around at home. Picture: David Kessen, National World | National World

He criticised the state of the track, saying its condition needed to be looked at, and raised concerns over a decision to let Doyle and Danyon Hume to both restart heat four after they had crashed into each other on the first bend, Ipswich winning the re-run 4-2.

He added: "Once we go on a good track in Sheffield we can bring it home."

Tigers team mate Josh Pickering described the track as 'difficult'.

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He added: "They've rolled us here - there's no reason why we can't do that at home." He added Chris Harris, who is set to guest for Tigers on Thursday, scored 16 last time he rode at Owlerton.

Manager Simon Stead said of the score: "Fair play to them. We got caught short a bit, in the middle of the meeting, and we were paying for that. Make no mistake we will be coming out fighting on Thursday."

Lambert top scored for the Tigers with nine, and he and skipper Kyle Howarth enjoyed Tigers' biggest heat advantage of the evening, a 5-1 success over Danny King and Keynan Rew in heat five.

But three 5-1 defeats in the last four heats cost Tigers late on.

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The second leg of the final is set to take place at Owlerton on Thursday evening at 7.30pm.

Ipswich 54: Jason Doyle 15, Emil Sayfutdinov 13+2, Danny King 10, Keynan Rew 5+1, Danyon Hume 5=1, Erik Riss 5, Joe Thompson 1+1.

Sheffield 38: Robert Lambert 9, Josh Pickering 8, Richard Lawson 6, Jason Edwards 5, Kyle Howarth 3+2, Connor Mountain 3, Chris Holder 2+1

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