|Sheffield PIRTEK 'Tigers' v Stoke Easy Rider 'Potters'||Premier League||4th August|
|Sean Wilson ©||
|Alan Mogridge ©||8.19||1||2||1||1||5|
|Paul Thorp (g)||9.05||2||3||*6||0||3||14|
The torrential rain which fell in and around Sheffield in the early evening luckily avoided Owlerton, although the racing might have improved had we been given a couple of showers. Adam Allott touched the tapes in heat 1 and earned himself a 15 metre handicap. Sean was the early leader and Ben shrugged off a full blooded shove from Alan Mogridge on the 3rd turn to claim maximum points for the Tigers. Paul Cooper beat Barrie Evans to the first turn but then struggled to keep up while Kyle rounded them both exiting turn 2 and romped away to win convincingly. Ricky wasn't happy about something at the start of heat 3 but it didn't stop him claiming an impressive win with partner Richard just able to stay ahead of the pressing Robbie Kessler. André and Kyle looked set for another 5-1 in heat 4 until Kyle made a hash of the pits bend on lap 2 which allowed Paul Thorp through into second place. Ricky was passed by Moggo exiting turn 2 in heat 5 but wasted little time in reclaiming the lead with a forceful move on turn 4.
Ben trapped well to lead heat 6 with Paul Thorp turning right on Sean on the run to turn 1. Paul seemed to have speed to spare and blasted around Ben out of turn 2 on the third lap to become the Potter's first heat winner. Robbie was the early leader in heat 7 with Paul Cooper rounding Paul Clews out of turn 2. André seemed to make up yards down the home straight and dived cleanly past Robbie to take the lead at the start of lap 2. At this stage of the match they discontinued grading the track which seemed to play straight into the visitors hands. Perhaps they wanted to leave some interest in the bonus point competition to try and build up the crowd for the return at Loomer Road on Saturday. I wonder how many people will elect to stay at home and watch the World Team Cup on the TV? Ben took a tapes to flag win in heat 8 with Kyle having to battle past Adam Allott on the third turn to claim another 5-1. Dave Tattum's answer was a tactical ride for Thorp in heat 9 which he won easily after making the most suspect of flying starts, while at the back Richard Hall caught and passed Barrie Evans on the third turn. With the track by now getting very slick Sean was unable to catch fast starting Robbie Kessler in heat 10, and Paul Clews got his act together and rounded Ben Wilson at the start of the last lap to claim the Potter's first heat advantage.André was left stranded at the tapes in heat 11 with Adam Allott making a clean start and Alan Mogridge swooping around Paul Cooper on the pits turn. Alan was following his team mate home when he inexplicably fell on the second turn of lap 3, jumping straight back on to claim the odd point. Ricky took a comfortable tapes to flag win in heat 12 while Kyle had a 3 lap tussle with Barrie Evans for second place. Kyle drew alongside Barrie on the back straight and there was contact as they entered the third turn, but unlike Ben in heat 1 who just held his line after a much heartier challenge Barrie spat his dummy and baled out. He went looking for Kyle after the race had been stopped and I don't think he was asking for his autograph. Sean and Moggo contested the lead of heat 13 as far as the third turn at which point André joined his skipper at the front. André tried a fence scraping last turn to try and take the flag but alas there was no grip anywhere to be found. Herr Flick was given a tactical ride in heat 14 which he duly won at the canter. Barrie Evans learned a lesson from his fall in heat 12 and used the inside line on the third turn to move from 4th to 2nd. Paul Cooper responded reclaiming 2nd spot on the next lap but Richard Hall was caught out by the slick conditions and just failed with his outside blast on the last turn. As top scorer Ricky must have been given first option for heat 15, but it was Sean and André who came to the tapes. Thorp made another flying start and it looked like being a 1-5 until Robbie momentarily lost control on the pits turn allowing the home pair to share the heat.
Good performances by all the Tigers heat leaders with excellent backing from Ben and Kyle who only missed his first paid maximum after letting Thorp pass him in heat 4. Having extended a twenty point lead in the first 8 heats the Tigers then allowed the Potters back into the match with the track being left to run uncharacteristically slick in the latter stages. It should however make for an interesting bonus point tussle on Saturday although I think the prospect of another away win is being a little over optimistic. It might be on if perhaps the Stoke management reciprocate by preparing their track to suit us?
Return to Sheffield Speedway fixtures and results
Return to Sheffield Speedway homepage