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Night of celebration falls flat for Sheffield Tigers

Steve Worrall leads Todd Kurtz , Charles Wright and Danny Phillips in heat one. Picture: Andy Garner
Steve Worrall leads Todd Kurtz , Charles Wright and Danny Phillips in heat one. Picture: Andy Garner
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Sheffield Tigers slumped to a 53-37 defeat in their vital Championship clash with rivals Scunthorpe in front of a bumper crowd at Owlerton.

On a night of celebration with the club hosting their 2000th meeting, there was general disappointment about the performance.

A glittering list of former riders were in attendance - and the team performance brought back the bad times of the mid-90s!

Scunthorpe were the stronger all-round side and deserved their win, and Tigers knew they were up against it at 20-10 down after five heats.

They had already used Kyle Howarth as a tactical substitute when they gained a maximum in the next - but Scunthorpe bounced back in heat seven to maintain a 26-16 lead.

Jake Allen and Jason Garrity were on fine form as a partnership and struck another 5-1 in heat 10 to put the visitors 12-up and the precious away win was in sight thanks to some steely determination.

And the Scorpions got the win with four heats to spare after a fine ride from Danny Phillips to go 44-28 up.

There was some competitive racing which was entertaining for the neutral - but it was hard to take for the home fans.

Some fans started leaving after heat 12 and it was a big anti-climax after all the pre-match publicity.

Angry club co-promoter Damien Bates said: “This is a massive disappointment.

“It’s just not good enough and we need to address this. We are all bitterly disappointed because we had so many of the former Sheffield riders here.

“The fans deserve better and it’s all a far cry from this time last year when we were building up to the play-offs. Things aren’t working out and we need to sort it quickly. Our manager, Simon Stead, is frustrated and so am I.”

The response from ex-riders was superb. It’s just a shame today’s riders were unable to ride to the occasion.

SHEFFIELD 37: Todd Kurtz 10, Kyle Howarth 9, Lasse Bjerre 6, James Shanes 6, Charles Wright 3+2, Joe Lawlor 2, Broc Nicol 1+1.

SCUNTHORPE 53: Jake Allen 15+2, Jason Garrity 12+2, Steve Worrall 9, Josh Auty 8+1, Danny Phillips 5, Gino Manzares 4+1, Stefan Nielsen r/r.

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