|Sheffield 'PIRTEK' Tigers v Reading 'Euphony' Racers||Young Shield||30th September|
|Rory Schlein (g)||9.69||3||2||1||2'||0||8+1|
|Jason Bunyan (g)||7.30||1||3||3||3||3||2||15|
|André Compton © r/r||8.79||-||-||-||-||(11)|
|Sheffield 'PIRTEK' Tigers||(34)||4||9||13||16||18||22||27||31||34||39||42||47||50||54||56||90|
|Reading 'Euphony' Racers||(58)||2||3||5||8||15||17||18||20||26||27||30||32||35||37||41||99|
|Phil Morris ©||7.96||2||1||1||2!||2||8|
|Cameron Woodward (g)||4.22||1||ef||2||0||0||3|
The Tigers bow out of the Young Shield Play-offs, albeit with some dignity winning by 15 points on the night, but losing by 9 on aggregate. The result may have been wrong but the racing certainly made up for that with riders from both sides serving up some high-speed close order action.
Rory Schlein took the lead out of turn two in the first heat, and Danny Bird resolutely hung on to second place despite all Jason Bunyan's attempts to get past. Ben Wilson led heat 2 right from the first lap but James Birkinshaw took his time lining Cameron Woodward up before blasting around him out of the very last turn for our first 5-1. Ricky Ashworth trapped to win heat 3 with Richard Hall passing Chris Schramm on the first lap, but not being able to find a way past Phil Morris. Matej Zagar trapped to win heat 4 with Rory Schlein struggling to keep in contention. Ivan Shears wasted no time in playing his jokers and Danny Bird's tactical win in heat 5 reduced the Tigers lead to just 3 points.
Even Matej Zagar had no answer to the flying Jason Bunyan in heat 6, indeed he had his hands full containing Rory Schlein as the Tigers guests started rebuilding the lead. Richard Hall made a rare good start in heat 7 and soaked up a lot of first lap pressure from Phil Morris before pulling clear. Team mate James Birkinshaw joined him at the front courtesy of an impossibly wide line around the first and second turns on the second lap. Jason took heat 8 with ease but Cameron Woodward headed Ben Wilson home with Andrew Appleton retiring at the back. Zagar made no mistake with the black & white helmet colour on winning easily from Ricky and Richard in heat 9, but our two guests made light work of the very average Phil Morris (and clueless Chris Schramm, Reading 'Rider of the Year'?) to take another maximum in heat 10.
Jason Bunyan beat Danny Bird in heat 11 but James retired at the back. Our lead looked healthier after Richard Hall and Ben Wilson took a maximum in heat 12. Cameron Woodward was well schooled and the instant Ben Wilson had passed him he applied the brakes to allow tactical substiture Phil Morris to claim the extra point. Ricky Ashworth won heat 13 in spectacular style, but the real entertainment came from the other three riders. Danny Bird and Rory Schlein passed and re-passed each other for second place over the course of the first three laps before Danny managed to pull clear, at which point Matej took a handfull of throttle and swooped around Rory to snatch 3rd place on the line. Phil Morris led heat 14 for half a lap before James Birkinshaw powered past but Ricky Ashworth was unable to follow suit and crossed the line looking down at his engine (don't they always!). With Reading through to the next round heat 15 was an anti-climax with Danny Bird winning comfortably, but Jason rode a fine line to beat Matej for the second time. Jason is certainly enjoying his speedway at the moment!
Virtually the whole crowd stayed behind to witness what happened next. With the meeting declared over Sean Wilson took to the track for his first spin since his accident at Belle Vue in May. As you watched him reel off four full throttle laps you could never have guessed that that it was only five months since he suffered that crushed vertebra.
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