Sheffield Tigers claw their way back to upset Somerset

Revved up: Richard Hall was the Tigers' hero with nine plus one.'            Picture: ANDY GARNER
Revved up: Richard Hall was the Tigers' hero with nine plus one.' Picture: ANDY GARNER
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Sheffield Tigers 48 Somerset 45

SHEFFIELD produced a stunning comeback at Owlerton last night to send a message to the rest of the Premier League and send Somerset home shell shocked.

Somerset were the pre-meeting favourites, especially given their excellent current form, and they lived up to that billing for much of the meeting but Sheffield showed amazing resolved to come back and win the match.

The Tigers were on the back foot from the off as they trailed by six points after just four heats and Somerset then extended that lead to ten just a heat later. That gave Sheffield a tactical ride and Josef Franc and Hugh Skidmore raced to a huge 8-1 in heat six, dragging the their side back into the meeting.

The teams traded heat wins, with Richard Hall grabbing a particularly spectacular victory in heat nine as he hunted Claus Vissing and took the win on the line. That set the home side up perfectly for the rest of the meeting and they grabbed the initiative with both hands after the interval.

Two big 5-1’s put them ahead, but an injury to Claus Vissing meant a lengthy delay while the Dane was taken to hospital. The Tigers then went a point behind and it looked like they were going to fall to a costly home defeat.

But a brilliant win in heat 15 for Franc and Richard Hall meant that the city side delighted the home crowd with a stunning win against the odds.

For Sheffield, Josef Franc again topped the scorecard with paid 15, and Hugh Skidmore was capable back-up with an impressive eight paid ten. Richard Hall was the Tigers hero with nine plus one, but Ricky Wells continued to struggle with paid six.

The Sheffield reserves failed to hit the heights of last week and notched nine between them, while Chrisn Schramm scored four, but every point was vital and everyone contributed to an excellent win.

Sheffield: (Franc 13+2, Hall 9+1, Skidmore 8+2, Haines 5+2, Wells 5+1, Sanchez 4, Schramm 4.)

Somerset: (Birks 14+2, Doyle 9, Wright 7, Masters 7, Vissing 5+1, Davies 3, Perry 0.)