Tigers shake off injuries to vanquish witches - Sheffield 52 Ipswich 38

Lasse Bjerre and Cameron Heeps crash out in heat three of the Tigers' clash with Ipswich. Picture: Andy Garner
Lasse Bjerre and Cameron Heeps crash out in heat three of the Tigers' clash with Ipswich. Picture: Andy Garner
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Battling Sheffield belied injuries to Lasse Bjerre and Broc Nicol to defeat last season’s play-off finalists Ipswich 52-38.

Delays prevailed due to some breathtaking crashes with Bjerre suffering concussion and Nicol pulling out with a knee problem despite attempting to carry on.

The Sheffield Window Centre Tigers made the perfect start as guest Ty Proctor made the gate in a simple 5-1 ahead of Todd Kurtz in the opener.

The visitors looked set to return the compliment but ex-Tiger Jack Smith fell and Connor Mountain slowed down to allow through Georgie Wood and James Shanes.

An ill-fated third saw Cameron Heeps gate with Ipswich colleague Nico Covatti roaring round outside only for the former to be clipped by the chasing Bjerre at the start of lap two.

Heeps and Bjerre had to withdrawn from the meeting with Covatti taking the re-run at a canter.

Charles Wright eased to the front from the off with Ipswich guest Scott Nicholls falling while second on turn three of lap three to hand Sheffield another 5-1.

After another delay for Broc Nicol’s fall, Kurtz made a barnstorming start on his own to bag a 3-3 against Rory Schlein and tactical substitute Covatti.

Kurtz then got the better of Smith at the back to grab another shared race led by away guest Nicholls from the off.

Covatti again came around outside with Wood nip and tuck with Mountain to grab a share of the spoils for the hosts.

The gap grew to 14 points thanks to a blistering gate by the Tigers as Shanes pinned Jonas Jeppesen for almost two laps and then forced his way back to second for fourth maximum behind Kurtz.

The Witches fought on as Nicholls stamped his authority in the ninth followed by more Covatti heroics that were not enough to make further inroads as Smith retired from the 10th.

Schlein made the gate to win heat 11 and Jeppesen passed Wood to claw back two points for the visitors.

Wood got pipped around the final bend by Jeppesen for third while Mountain completed a comfortable success to keep Ipswich well and truly in the hunt for point.

The Tigers hit back with Proctor taking the 13th and Wright passing Schlein at the back with Shanes then swarming then beating Covatti to seal victory.

The cap was put on the triumph as Proctor and Kurtz jetted either side of Nicholls on turn two before sailing away with a 5-1.

Sheffield 52: Todd Kurtz 13+3, Ty Proctor 12+1, James Shanes 11+3, Charles Wright 10, Georgie Wood 4+1, Broc Nicol (withdrawn) 2, Lasse Bjerre (withdrawn) 0.

Ipswich 38: Nco Covatti 12+1, Scott Nicholls 9, Connor Mountain 7+1, Rory Schlein 5, Jonas Jeppesen 4, Jack Smith 1, Cameron Heeps (withdrawn) 0.