Great Dane praised as Tigers seal maiden victory

Nip and tuck: Ricky Wells narrowly leads Richard Hall in heat three.         Picture: andy garner
Nip and tuck: Ricky Wells narrowly leads Richard Hall in heat three. Picture: andy garner
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Sheffield Tigers 49 Redcar 40

SHEFFIELD Tigers grabbed their first win of the season with a hard-fought victory over Redcar to set them up nicely for a hectic couple of days days.

The Tigers were given a stern test by the Teesiders last night and it took big performances from some of their under-fire stars to stop their losing run, with number one Josef Franc showing why he was recruited by the Tigers’ management in the Winter with his best performance to date.

It was an open meeting with both teams winning races early on, and the sides were never separated by more than two points up until heat 10. The defining moment came in heat 11, when both Redcar riders failed to finish and the home side claimed a 5-0. From there they never looked back.

Struggling reserve Klaus Jakobsen had his best meeting in a Sheffield race-jacket with 11 points, including a confidence-boosting win in heat David Hoggart was particularly pleased with the performance of the Dane.

“Klaus came back brilliantly tonight, he showed us what he can do,” he said.

“He picked up a couple of lucky points but he kept in there and got his reward. He paid to practice at Scunthorpe and Leicester this week and Jason Lyons helped him with his set-up tonight and we saw what a good rider he can be. I felt there was an over-reaction to last week’s performance and I’m delighted with how Klaus came back tonight.”

It was a solid performance from the Owlerton men; Pepe Franc notched 11+2 while Emiliano Sanchez got back to form with seven points. Richard Hall impressed with paid 10, Ricky Wells again showed improvement on his way to seven and Hugh Skidmore recorded six paid seven to continue his consistent start to the season.

It leaves the Tigers in good heart heading into a busy Easter schedule, with the return meeting between these two teams taking place tonight.

The Tigers then have a two-day break before travelling to Scunthorpe on Monday in a hotly anticipated derby meeting.

Tigers boss Hoggart added: “We are capable of getting results at both tracks but we know it’s going to be a big test for us.

“The boys are confident so we’ll see what we can do, but it won’t be easy.”

TIGERS scorers: Franc 11+2, Hall 9+1, Jakobsen 8+3, Sanchez 7, Wells 7, Skidmore 6+1, Haines 1+1.