Sheffield go top following double joy

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Sheffield 50

Buxton 43

Sheffield 50

Stoke 39

SHEFFIELD surged to the top of the National League table after a double triumph at Owlerton last night.

The Sheffield/Scunthorpe second-string, who share their matches between the two venues, collected a bumper haul of six points out of six from two eventful meetings.

The Sheffield opened the evening with a hard-fought win over Buxton, who provided stubborn opposition throughout.

Sheffield gained the upperhand with 5-1s in Heats 2 and 3, and their lead was extended to 16 points after Heat 9 with Adam Alllott’s tactical ride being eclipsed by Steve Worrall and Gary Irving.

However, when Buxton guest Jason Garrity went for double in Heat 11, he was far more successful in a terrific race as he battled past both Adam Wrathall and Greg Blair for a maximum 8-1 advantage alongside team-mate Robert Branford.

A trading of 5-1s followed, Sheffield regaining control in Heat 12 through Irving and Richie Worrall, but the Hitmen remained in touch for a point with another Garrity win in the next as Allott got the better of Paul Cooper for second place.

But a 4-2 in Heat 14 won by Steve Worrall with Wrathall snatching third from Paul Burnett all but secured maximum points, although a previously faultless Ashley Birks missed out on full house when he was beaten by Allott and Branford in the final race.

Richie Worrall was then the hero in a thrilling contest against Stoke, with the Potters giving Sheffield several nervous moments.

Birks’ night took a turn for the worse when he fell in Heat 6, and then in his third ride of the meeting he suffered engine failure on the last lap when ahead, which allowed the Potters to narrow the gap to three points.

The visitors then took the lead when Wrathall was ridden out of contention by Sheffield’s regular senior team member Simon Lambert, who had fallen in Heat 1, and Jaimie Pickard.

Worrall, though, teamed up with Irving in Heat 12 to immediately restore the Sheffields’ advantage and they made sure of victory when the Worrall brothers banked a maximum in Heat 14, Steve re-passing Tony Atkin at the start of the third lap and Richie completing the match with an enormous 19 score.

Sheffield were left needing a share in Heat 15 for all three points but they did better than that with a superb 5-1 from Steve Worrall and Irving over Lambert to cap off a fine evening’s work.