Speedway report: Sheffield Tigers 51 Plymouth Devils 42

Josh Bates leads Simon Stead , Brady Kurtz and Michael Palm Toft Ht 1
Josh Bates leads Simon Stead , Brady Kurtz and Michael Palm Toft Ht 1
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Sheffield stormed back to the top of the Premier League table with a convincing 51-42 triumph over Plymouth last night.

The tremendous Tigers continued their Owlerton dominance to dispose of a potentially dangerous Devils’ side and earn their eighth consecutive home win.

A stunning performance from skipper Simon Stead led the Yorkshiremen to three more vital Premier League points to climb back to the summit.

Nearly three weeks after their last outing at Redcar, the Tigers quickly dusted off any cobwebs to get off to a lightning start.

Skipper Stead and Josh Bates fended off Australian talent Brady Kurtz in the opening race before Bates and Kyle Howarth struck a second 5-1 in heat three.

It could have been more had Michael Palm Toft not taken advantage of mistakes from Nathan Greaves and Arthur Sissis to work his way from third to first in heat two.

However, the hosts had nonetheless established an eight-point advantage, and with just five last places they never looked in danger of being caught.

The Devils showed some glimpses of mounting a comeback as Brady Kurtz expertly rounded Bates in heat five before Jack Holder delivered a tactical ride victory in heat nine.

Yet Stead and Dimitri Berge roared clear in the very next race to offer a perfect response before they ensured the visitors left empty handed.

Influential skipper Stead came within a whisker of breaking the long-standing Owlerton track record in heat six and was only denied a paid maximum by a gutsy move by the flying Holder in heat 13.

He was joined at the front in heat six by Kyle Howarth, who bravely found a way around Holder to provide the highlight of his excellent paid 13-point haul.

Middle order partner Bates and French ace Berge also impressed, ensuring the injured Jason Garrity’s rider replacement outings were covered with an unbeaten paid 12 points.

The Tigers will now look to extend their unbeaten run to six successive meetings when they travel to Newcastle on Sunday (6pm) in the Knockout Cup Quarter-Final before hosting the second leg at Owlerton next Thursday (7.30).

SHEFFIELD 51: Simon Stead 16+1, Josh Bates 11+2, Kyle Howarth 11+2, Dimitri Berge 8+1, Arthur Sissis 3+1, Nathan Greaves 2+2, Jason Garrity R/R.

PLYMOUTH 42: Jack Holder 14+1, Brady Kurtz 10, Michael Palm Toft 10, Todd Kurtz 4+2, Sam Simota 4+1, Ellis Perks 0, Kyle Newman R/R.