Speedway report: Plymouth Devils 52 Sheffield Tigers 41

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Sheffield Tigers got their Premier League campaign off to a disappointing start as they went down 52-41 at Plymouth last night.

The Tigers were well beaten on a difficult night at the St Boniface Arena as they suffered their second successive defeat in all competitions.

The Owlerton outfit were left reeling as a nightmare start saw them concede back to back 5-1s in the opening two races.

By the end of heat nine they were 19 points down and had used their tactical ride - and from that point on there was no coming back.

Middle order man Kyle Howarth put in a fine display to put up the bulk of their resistance.

He suffered just one defeat from five rides, storming to a tactical ride triumph in heat seven - but with partner Josh Bates trailing at the back the effect was minimal.

Howarth combined with reserve Richard Hall for a 5-1 after Jack Holder fell in heat 12 - and with skipper Simon Stead recovering from a slow start to win his final two rides they attempted to stage a late fight back.

He was partnered at the front in heat 13 by Jason Garrity as they struck successive maximums - but Plymouth hit back with a 5-1 of their own in the penultimate race to put paid to their chances and ensure they fell short of a consolation point.

It was a below-par performance from the visitors that they will be keen to forget.

They will be back in action as they travel to Peterborough on Sunday, May 8 before hosting Glasgow at Owlerton in their first home league fixture on Thursday, May 12.

PLYMOUTH 52: Todd Kurtz 14+1, Sam Simota 11, Stefan Nielsen 9+5, Jack Holder 8+1, Charlie Gjedde 5+1, Ellis Perks 5+1, Kyle Newman r/r.

SHEFFIELD 41: Kyle Howarth 15+2, Jason Garrity 7+2, Simon Stead 7, Richard Hall 4+1, Josh Bates 4, Nathan Greaves 3, Dimitri Berge 1.

Premier League points: Plymouth 3 Sheffield 0