Sheffield Tigers 51 Scunthorpe Scorpions 39

Ty Proctor leads Dimitri Berge. Photo: Andy Garner
Ty Proctor leads Dimitri Berge. Photo: Andy Garner
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Sheffield have the upper hand over rivals Scunthorpe as they aim to book their place in the Knockout Cup Semi-Finals.

Tigers came out 51-39 winners at Owlerton last night in a dramatic and eventful first leg.

But there was a slight sense of fortune about their margin of victory though with bad luck striking the visitors early on.

In-form Scunthorpe charger Jason Garrity, who won his opening ride after rounding Sheffield reserve James Shanes in Heat Four, crashed out spectacularly in the second attempt of the sixth race.

He was tough on Todd Kurtz in the initial staging and the Sheffield man went sliding under the air-fence – but all four riders were invited back to the restart much to the dismay of the home crowd.

But in the re-run, guest No.1 Ty Proctor was able to clamp Garrity down and this time Kurtz did find a way around the outside. But heading down the back straight, as Garrity went to make a late switch of racing line, he collected the back end of Kurtz’s bike and crashed alarmingly. He was taken to hospital with suspected leg injuries in what was a massive blow to the visitors who were already missing their No.1 Steve Worrall.

But the re-run saw Tigers claim a second successive 5-1 maximum after Broc Nicol and Lasse Bjerre produced beautiful outside moves in the previous race.

The Steel City side seemed to be in control of the tie as they lead by eight points with five races to go – and looked set to build on that in Heat 11.

But Charles Wright, who was coming under some severe pressure from Scunthorpe guest rider Dimitri Berge, lifted out of bend four and crashed heavily into the home straight fence.

There was concern over the Tigers No.5 but he picked himself up and remarkably took his place in Heat 13 where he battled his way to what could prove to be a vital third placed point.

A big turning point possibly came in the penultimate race though as Tigers wrapped up a final 5-1 as Jake Allen packed up for the visitors on the final bends, allowing Shanes and Nicol through as they received some reward for some fine earlier pressure.

SHEFFIELD 51: Lasse Bjerre 11+1, James Shanes 9, Ty Proctor 8+2, Todd Kurtz 8+2, Charles Wright 7, Broc Nicol 6+2, Georgie Wood 2.

SCUNTHORPE 39: Dimitri Berge 16, Josh Auty 11, Danny Phillips 4, Jake Allen 3+2, Jason Garrity 3, Gino Manzares 1+1, Steve Worrall R/R.