Weather foils Tigers hopes of important double win

Eye of the Tiger: The concentration of Richie Worrall is evident as he takes the lead.     Picture: Andy Garner
Eye of the Tiger: The concentration of Richie Worrall is evident as he takes the lead. Picture: Andy Garner
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SHEFFIELD’S National League team saw their hopes of taking a maximum six points wrecked by the weather in last night’s double-header at Owlerton.

The home side, who operate a joint third-tier effort with Scunthorpe, easily overcame the Isle of Wight in the first of two planned meetings, but only three races were possible in the second event against Belle Vue before the riders had to give best to rapidly worsening conditions.

That leaves them still healthily placed in third spot in the league table, with matches in hand on their direct rivals for a top four place.

The first match of the evening, against the Islanders, turned into a stroll in the park as Sheffield dominated from start to finish – limiting their opponents to just one heat win.

Fortunately for the visitors, that at least came when skipper Nick Simmons was taking a tactical ride, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Sheffield from going through the 60-point barrier.

Ashley Birks dropped his only point of the meeting to Simmons who came up with a fine ride on the last lap of Heat 11, but it was only damage limitation as the Islanders carried far too many passengers.

Richie Worrall and Adam Wrathall both racked up double-figure scores too, and the home side were even allowed the luxury of giving a rider-replacement outing to rookie No.8 Jordan Tyrer.

Belle Vue were expected to provide tougher opposition, even without the absent British Under-18 Champion Jason Garrity, but from the three heats which were run they looked set to be heading the same way as the Islanders.

Sheffield only dropped one point from those races to lead 14-4, but with heavy rain falling during Heats 2 and 3 in particular, it was no surprise that a premature halt was called.

Scorers v Isle of Wight (61-32): Richie Worrall 15+1, Ashley Birks 14, Adam Wrathall 10+2, Lee Smethills 9+1, Gary Irving 8+2, Stefan Nielsen 5, Jordan Tyrer (No.8) 0, Steve Worrall R/R.