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A bridge too far as Tigers suffer cup KO: Scunthorpe 57 Sheffield 33

Sheffield Tigers guest rider Ty Proctor in action against Scunthorpe. Picture: Taylor Lanning
Sheffield Tigers guest rider Ty Proctor in action against Scunthorpe. Picture: Taylor Lanning
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Sheffield Tigers boss Simon Stead admitted that it was “a bridge too far” missing the top two as they crashed out of the KO Cup.

Scunthorpe won 57-33 at the Eddie Wright Raceway last night, sending Tigers out by 10 points on aggregate.

With Kyle Howarth and Charles Wright ruled out with injury, the visitors struggled as guests Ty Proctor and Richie Worrall scored just eight points between them.

Stead said: “Obviously missing our top two was bridge too far. It’s hugely disappointing and I felt we could do it.

“It just didn’t happen on the night for Ty and Richie, but our luck has let us down with injuries. Now it’s just about moving on and concentrating on defending the league title.

“The one silver lining was the performance of Broc Nicol, who was outstanding.”

Tigers were immediately on the back foot after just one minute of action. Scunthorpe guest Rory Schlein roared clear in Heat 1 with Dimitri Berge with guest Richie Worrall pulling out with bike problems.

When Broc Nicol produced an outstanding debut win in Heat 3 and then guest Ty Proctor a race later, Tigers were comfortable.

But suddenly the Scorpions stung in action. Two successive 5-1s in Heats 5 and 6 suddenly had the Tigers toiling and 10 behind, and just two ahead on aggregate.

Once again it was new American Nicol who steadied the ship and when Bjerre slipped through into second after a mistake from home star Josh Auty, Tigers could breathe again trailing by just six on the night.

However, disaster then struck. Bjerre led Heat 10 in fine style until the final lap when his bike packed up and gifted Scunny the lead on aggregate by four points.

Worrall was excluded from Heat 10, the Scorpions then recorded their third successive 5-1 to move 20 points in front and Tigers’ KO Cup hopes were now in deep trouble.

Now it came down to guests Worrall and Proctor to produce in Heat 13 to keep the tie alive.

However Schlein and Manzares went clear from the start only for Proctor to battle hard to pass the latter and keep Tigers in it - but needing two 5-1s just to draw.

But the excellent Jake Allen beat Nicol from the back on the second lap and another 4-2 meant that Tigers were out of the Cup.