Sheffield Tigers 54 Scunthorpe 35

Photo by Andy Garner
Photo by Andy Garner
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Sheffield have one foot in the Premier League play-offs after prevailing 54-35 in their must-win clash with Scunthorpe at Owlerton last night.

The Tigers headed into their mouth-watering local derby clash knowing anything less than a victory would bring their title dreams to an abrupt end.

But their depleted side – missing injured top two Simon Stead and Jason Garrity – showed determination and character in abundance to come up trumps on a tense night.

The result moves them back up to fifth in the table after completing their fixtures and piles the pressure on Peterborough heading into their final fixture of the season at high-flying Edinburgh.

The Tigers made their breakthrough as in-form ace Kyle Howarth dusted himself down from a spectacular crash to win heat four.

He initially tangled with Fritz Wallner entering the first bend and was sent cartwheeling over the handlebars of his machine but bravely roared clear in the rerun to give them the lead.

It proved a sign of things to come as the Manchester-born racer stormed to a sensational 13+1 point haul to lead them to three points.

With the dogged Scorpions refusing to lie down, Howarth raced clear in his final two rides to see them over the line and keep their season alive.

Flying Frenchman Dimitri Berge experienced an eventful night, struggling with bike problems and being involved in an unsavoury scuffle after heat 11.

Josh Bates also recovered from a tough start to win his final two rides including a timely heat 10 maximum alongside guesting No.1 Richard Lawson.

Despite an anxious wait to discover their Premier League fate, Sheffield will be back in action at Owlerton next Thursday.

They will need to overturn an 18-point deficit in the second leg of their League Cup semi-final tie with Somerset.