|Sheffield 'PIRTEK' Tigers v Edinburgh 'Fulfilment Factory' Monarchs||Premier Trophy||15th April|
|Sean Wilson (c)||9.73||3||3||3||3||2'||14+1|
|Sheffield 'PIRTEK' Tigers||5||9||11||15||20||24||28||33||36||41||45||49||54||58||63|
|Frede Schøtt (c)||10.70||1||1||2||0||4|
The reigning Premier League champions have made a powerful start to the season but failed to make any impression at Owlerton. Ex-Sheffield favourites Peter Carr and Rory Schlein claimed one win apiece but after that there wasn't anything to shout about, and we can expect Frede Schøtt to catch James Grievesitis just before they return for the League fixture.
Frede trailed in behind the Sheffield pair in his first two rides and frankly looked disinterested in racing. He finished ahead of Ben Wilson in heat 11 mainly because it took Ben a couple of laps to get past Gary Phelps, and he moved from 2nd to last within the first lap of heat 13 as both André and PC flew past. Gary looked as if he would struggle at Conference League level. Rory passed Ricky on the 3rd bend in heat 3 with an oh-so-sweet inside line, but lost the lead to André while on a tactical ride in heat 7. He pushed Ricky to the joint fastest time of the year in heat 12 but only made it to the 1st turn in the nominated heat. Theo Pijper's moment of glory was leading heat 14 for a lap. Peter Carr was given a tactical ride in heat 9 and passed both Ricky and Andy on the first lap going on to win in the fastest time of the season. Cameron Woodward made an impressive Owlerton debut and I expect he will be quite a handful when he returns, but Matthew Wethers was less successful than on his previous visits.
Sean and André revelled on probably the finest strip we have seen at Owlerton thus far this year. Passing on the inside was favourite and the racing was out of the top drawer as our top two both claimed paid maximums. James only dropped points to PC, if only he could carry some of that form onto the smaller tracks. Ricky was surprised by Rory Schein passing him in heat 3 and perhaps tried too hard on the following lap falling on the pits turn. His only other defeat was against man-on-a-mission PC's tactical ride in heat 9. Andy Moore looked more comfortable than he has been of late which was surprising given reports that he was suffering quite badly from a nasty virus. Ben Wilson bounced back from his heavy fall last week with an impressive heat 2 win, and Richard Hall was always in the thick of the action. He picked up a place in heat 2 but was filled in completely as he tried to round Cameron Woodward. He passed Matthew Wethers again in heat 4, this time on the inside line out of turn 4, and he repeated the maneouvre (quite forcibly) on the very last turn of heat 8. He then had to hang on as Cameron Woodward was on his rear wheel all the way in heat 12, so as you can see his paid 6 return was well deserved, all the more so as he was suffering with tonsilitus.
The scoreline most certainly didn't reflect the quality of the racing and the healthy crowd were kept entertained, although it must have seemed a long journey home for the Monarch's supporters. We can expect quite a backlash in the return leg but surely we can defend a 31 point advantage to take the bonus.
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