Depleted Sheffield slipped to their first defeat of the season as they went down 47-43 against Somerset at Owlerton.
The Tigers were left reeling by a horror crash in heat 15 of their stunning victory at Rye House last week which has left them without inspirational skipper Simon Stead and flying Frenchman David Bellego.
Their patched up side put in another determined display only to come up short against inspired Rebels.
The two teams could not be separated early on before a pair of Somerset 5-1s in heats nine and 10 turned the meeting on its head going into the interval.
Despite their best efforts, Jack Lee’s side were unable to mount a late comeback as they ended the night having accounted for just five race wins.
Edinburgh ace Craig Cook stepped in and performed admirably in place of Stead, claiming victories in his opening two races to help keep Sheffield level early on.
He tried everything to pass opposite number Josh Grajczonek in a blockbuster heat 13 only to fall just short as he aimed to keep the Tigers’ hopes alive.
Debutant Jason Garrity was also involved in a dramatic race late on, but like Cook he fell agonisingly short of victory in the penultimate race to end their chances of snatching a dramatic victory.
The all-action British youngster nonetheless put in an encouraging display to add a hard-fought seven points including a heat three win on his first appearance in Sheffield colours.
In-form Andre Compton put in a solid display as he was involved in all four Tigers’ heat advantages including a spectacular heat 15 ride to partner Cook to a 5-1 and deny Somerset all four points.
There were also battling displays from Aussie duo Ty Proctor and Arthur Sissis – Sissis in particular continuing his promising improvement – but Ashley Birks and Josh Bates experienced tough evenings as the Tigers suffered their first defeat in seven meetings.
Sheffield will be back in action at Berwick tomorrow (7pm), with Josh Grajczonek stepping in for Stead at No.1 as they aim to get back to winning ways.
SHEFFIELD 43: Craig Cook 13, Andre Compton 8+2, Ty Proctor 7+1, Jason Garrity 7, Arthur Sissis 5+2, Ashley Birks 3+1, Josh Bates 0
SOMERSET 47: Leigh Lanham 9+1, Richie Worrall 9+1, Josh Grajczonek 9+1, Brady Kurtz 8, Charles Wright 6+1, Paul Starke 5+1, Benji Compton 1