Sheffield got their season off to a perfect start as they raced to a 57-35 victory over rivals Scunthorpe at Owlerton.
The Tigers put in a hugely encouraging display to gain local bragging rights and kick-off their Premier League Cup campaign with a win.
Skipper Simon Stead got them off to a perfect start as he blasted around the boards to join Andre Compton at the front for a 5-1 – and when the experienced duo rolled back the years to repeat the trick in heat 10 they opened up a 16 point advantage.
Despite the Scorpions best efforts to mount a comeback, the Tigers were in convincing form as they opened up a 22 point margin by the time the meeting drew to a close.
The hosts did experience some good fortune – with Nike Lunna and David Howe endured costly engine failures whilst in points scoring positions in heats two and 11 respectively.
However, the Owlerton outfit were good value for their win as they put in a determined team effort during which they accounted for 11 race winners.
Stead led by example from the No.1 spot, racing to a faultless paid maximum with an imperious display, but unlike on many occasions last year he received excellent support.
Veteran second string Andre Compton dropped just one point, whilst Frenchman David Bellego demonstrated his liking for the fast, sweeping Owlerton circuit to enjoy a memorable debut. He sniffed out a Carl Wilkinson tactical ride with a classy heat seven win on his way to nine points.
Ashley Birks and Ty Proctor formed a dangerous partnership in the engine room of the side, combining for a 5-1 in heat five as Sheffield grew in confidence early on.
With youngster Josh Bates winning heat two on his way to a solid 8+1, Sheffield had plenty of strength in depth throughout their side.
Although road racing convert Arthur Sissis experienced a tough introduction to Premier League racing, he demonstrated plenty of promising signs, particularly when he led Josh Auty for three laps in heat six. Despite Sissis’ struggles, there was no stopping Jack Lee’s side as they put in an inspired performance to add weight to their high expectations entering the campaign.
They will be back in action next Thursday when they welcome Redcar to Owlerton.
SHEFFIELD 57: Simon Stead 14+1, Ashley Birks 10+1, Andre Compton 9+1, David Bellego 9, Josh Bates 7+1, Ty Proctor 6+3, Arthur Sissis 2
SCUNTHORPE 35: Josh Auty 11, Carl Wilkinson 11, Theo Pijper 5, Alex Davies 3+1, Ellis Perks 2, David Howe 2, Nike Lunna 1+1
League cup points: Sheffield 3 Scunthorpe 0