|SHEFFIELD SPEEDWAY MATCH REPORTS 2023|
|SHEFFIELD 'Tigers' v IPSWICH 'Witches'||Play Off Cup final||5th Oct '23|
|Ref: Jim McGregor||01||02||03||04||05||06||07||08||09||10||11||12||13||14||15||S/h||Tot+Bp|
|1. Robert Lambert (g)||(8.69)||3||2||3||0||1'||9+1|
|2. Kyle Howarth||5.55||fx||1'||2'||2'||5+3|
|3. Chris Holder||*7.16||3||3||0||3||2||11|
|4. Josh Pickering||6.78||1||2'||3||2'||8+2|
|5. Chris Harris (g)||(8.47)||3||3||2||1||9|
|6. Jye Etheridge (g)||(4.00)||3||1||0||-||2'||3||9+1|
|7. Jason Edwards RS||3.00||2'||-||3||0||-||5+1|
|1. Emil Sayfutdinov||10.10||1'||1||3||3||3||11+1|
|2. Erik Riss||4.84||2||0||0||1 TD>||3|
|3. Danny King ©||7.23||2||2||fx||1||5|
|4. Keynan Rew||4.00||0||1'||1||1||3+1|
|5. Jason Doyle||9.12||2||3||2||2'||0||9+1|
|6. Danyon Hume||3.87||1||-||1'||0||0||2+1|
|7. Joe Thompson ||(3.00)||0||0||0||1||-||1|
The meeting gets under way with light rain falling. The Witches win the toss and take gates 1&3 allowing Robert Lambert to make a great start from the outside. Erik Riss is second with Kyle buzzing around his exhaust. Kyle goes wide into turn 1 looking for a pass and Emil Sayfutdinov dives up the inside causing Kyle to bale out. Unlike heat 1 at Foxall when Emil didn't even fall but somehow got a restart, Blind Jim excludes Kyle!. Jye Etheridge makes a lovely start from the inside gate and Jason joins him ahead of Danyon Hume and the pair never put a wheel wrong for a heat 2 5-1. Chris Holder traps to lead heat 3 from ex-Tiger Danny King with Josh climbing all over him but unable to fashion a pass. Danyon replaces Joe Thompson in heat 4 and makes a peach of a start to take a short lived lead as both Jye and Chris "Bomber" Harris pass him exiting turn 2. Jason Doyle takes the outside around the 3rd and 4th turns to pass his team mate and then dives under Jye into turn 1. Chris rides a lovely line and it's another 4-2 advantage to narrow the deficit. Chris Holder traps from the inside to lead heat 5 with Josh flying from unfancied gate 3 and holding off Emil's outside run as they exited turn 2. After that the Tigers extended their lead each lap and the 5-1 brings the Witches aggregate lead to just 6 points.
The drizzle has just about cleared now and the track is still riding smoothly. Jason Doyle has starting gate 1 and wins heat 6 but has to work hard to keep Robert behind. Bomber is off gate 1 in heat 7 and goes wide looking for grip allowing Danny King to pass him exiting turn 2. Bomber was having none of that and retakes the lead on the outside into turn 3. Keynan Rew is hard on Jye's exhaust and switches to the inside to pass him at the end of lap 3. Jye dives back into third place on the first turn but Keynan has it covered and retakes the place to share the heat. The rain is heavier by the start of heat 8 and Kyle is off the unfavoured gate 3. Jason is clean away from the inside and Kyle goes high and wide to follow him down the back straight. The home pair extend their lead lap after lap with Erik Riss an uninterested last. Chris Holder is off gate 3 in heat 9 and is swallowed up into the first turn. Jason Doyle leads and Danyon blasts around the outside and gets alongside Josh down the back straight. Josh is having none of that and shrugs off Danyon as he sets his sights on Doyley. Jason takes the white line around the first turns of lap three just as Josh blasts high and wide around the outside and raises the roof off the stands as he takes the lead into turn 3! Robert is off gate 3 in heat 10 with Danny outside him, Danny twitches at the start and Blind Jim calls "all four back" but warns Robert not to move! He's always had it in for Sheffield after falling out of the ref box at Glasgow all those years ago. Kyle traps in the rerun but Robert blast high and wide around the outside and takes the lead down the back straight. Danny tries to follow him wide into turn 3 but gets sucked into the air fence in a nasty looking tumble. Thankfully he's soon back on his feet! Kyle traps in the rerun and Robert blasts around him for a 5-1 in heat 10 and would you believe it the Tigers are now ahead on aggregate!
Emil gets his first win of the evening in heat 11 and with Erik out pacing JasonE the Witches restore an even aggregate score. Jye is plunged into heat 12 and while Chris Holder made a fantastic start Jye blasted high and wide around the Witches to join him down the back straight. Tigers now have the lead by four points, but heats 13 and 15 always favour the Witches so it's fingers and everything else crossed. Bomber has the curse of gate 3 and Doyle is outside him, but conditions are better now the rain has stopped. Emil traps ahead but Jason is trailing until he dives past Robert into turn three and then passes Chris out of turn four by virtually fencing him before bouncing himself off the turn 1 air fence. Bomber fights back and makes a pass on the inside of the pits turn at the end of lap 3 but Jason rides his socks off to get the 5-1 to level the scores. Tension mounts as heat 14 could be crucial. Danyon is out again in heat 14 but it's Jye who gets the drop leaving Josh and Keynan battling for second. Josh goes high and wide and rounds Keynan down the back on the second lap, only for Keynan to regain the place out of the pits turn. Josh goes wide again and sensationally passes Keynan into turn three again but this time makes it stick. We're four points ahead into heat 15 but are facing the 5-1 winners of heat 13 and are likely to meet them again if a super heat ensues. Emil gets the graveyard gate with Robert off gate 4 with the possibility of a wide blast. The drizzle has abated so no problems with visibility and it's Doyle off gate 1 who leads out of turn 2. Emil rounds the field and leads into turn 3 BUT Chris Holder also rounds Doyle into turn 3 and then Robert blasts around him at the start of lap 2 and the CHAMPIONSHIP is SHEFFIELD'S!!!
The rain chucked it down at the presentations but who cared? WE'RE CHAMPIONS!
Analysis of starting gate positions: Gate 1 - 28(+1)pts 7 wins. Gate 2 - 24pts 3 wins. Gate 3 - 18(+4)pts 2 wins. Gate 4 - 20(+7)pts 3 wins.