|Sheffield PIRTEK 'Tigers' v Workington 'Comets'||Premier Trophy||4th May|
|2. Ben Wilson||5.37||fx||1'||2||2'||5+2|
|3. Emiliano Sanchez||6.89||1||1'||2||3||7+1|
|4. Kyle Legault||4.57||3||2||1'||3||9+1|
|5. André Compton ©||8.48||3||3||3||3||2'||14+1|
|6. Paul Cooper||(B)||2'||1||1||0||1||5+1|
|7. Benji Compton||(B)||3||tps||1'||1||5+1|
|1. Paul Thorp||7.28||2||3||*4||2||1||12|
|2. Tomasz Piszcz||4.86||1'||0||3||1'||5+2|
|3. Ritchie Hawkins||5.62||0||fx||0||2||2|
|4. James Wright||7.17||2||2||1||2||7|
|5. Garry Stead ©||7.68||2||3||*6||0||ef||11|
|6. Lee Derbyshire||(C)||fx||-||-||-||0|
|7. Aidan Collins||(A)||1||f||f||0||0||0||0||1|
|Fastest this season; 60.3
André Compton, 14 April
The Comets promised to be our sternest test so far this season riding high in the Premier Trophy Northern group, boasting an impressive away record and having won all their bonus points to date. Their 'new look' side also includes two Owlerton specialists (and Sheffield assets) in ex-Tiger Garry Stead and doyen of the terraces Paul Thorp.
Newly crowned British U21 champion Ben Wilson got it all crossed up on the outside of turn 2 and took a fall in heat 1. Ricky almost anticipated the re-start causing Mr. Ackroyd to bring all three back to the tapes (where Mr. Thorp was pleased to discover he wasn't the offender) but Ricky made no mistake the third time and he scorched home in his fastest time of the season. Benji led heat 2 with Paul and Lee Derbyshire contesting second place until Lee shed a chain on the apex of the third and fourth turns which straightened him up and sent him towards the fence. He baled out but hit the fence hard breaking both legs in the process. When the ambulance returned from the Northern General Benji repeated his lightning start and Paul made an easy job of outpacing Aidan Collins for the 5-1. Emiliano led heat 3 from Kyle but James Wright gained second place with an inside pass at the start of lap two. Emiliano was then very slow on turn two lap three allowing Kyle to swoop from third to first around the outside and although James passed Emiliano on the third turn he then settled for second place. Benji's bike needed on-track attention under the 2 minute allowance before heat 4, and he then nudged the tapes when the green light came on. Paul Cooper replaced him and André took a comfortable win from Garry Stead. Aidan Collins trailed the field and fell on the last bend. Paul Thorp and Tomasz Piszcz lead heat but Tomasz went too wide on the fourth turn allowing Kyle through into second place. Tomasz then went too wide on the fourth turn on the next lap allowing Emiliano through into third.
Garry Stead became the Comets second heat winner in heat 6 ahead of Ricky and Ben with Aidan taking another tumble at the back of the field. André flew into the lead in heat 7 and Paul Cooper picked his way between the Comets pair into second place down the back straight only for Ritchie Hawkins to clatter into the fence on turn three. He was quickly back on his feet but James Wright got the better of Paul in the restart. Tomasz made a beaut of a start to lead heat 8 with Ben Wilson trailing the field. Ben went around Aidan on the pits turn on the third lap and passed Benji on the last lap and the heat was shared. Emiliano (off gate 4) rounded Garry Stead on the second bend and looked set for a big win but chose to ride a tighter line each lap until he was hugging the white line on the fourth. Garry could hardly believe his fortune and claimed the win and six points with a last bend swoop. Ricky and Ben fought back with a 5-1 ahead of James and Ritchie restoring the Tigers' aggregate lead to six points after heat 10.
Paul was wearing black and white in heat 11 but couldn't compete with André and Tomasz seemed to have learned not to go too wide on the fourth turn. Emiliano comfortably won heat 12 and Ritchie scored his first points of the evening by passing Benji on the inside of the fourth turn at the end of lap 2. Heat 13 was the clash of the top dogs. André led from Paul Thorp with Ricky dicing with Garry. Gary went around Ricky on the pits bend lap two but Ricky kept the pressure on and passed Garry on the inside line on the last bend and very nearly caught Thorpy who has eased off as he ran to the finish line. Kyle and Paul led heat 14 until James shot under Paul at the end of the first lap. The nominated heat was a repeat of heat 13 with the top two from each team in contention, but this time Ricky made no mistake to take the lead and André joined him there with an awesome fourth bend swoop which took him past both of the Comets and had the crowd holding their breath.
A comfortable win for the Tigers against top of the table Workington who only had three riders winning a heat. All the Tigers took a heat win with the exception of Paul, who was also the only Tiger to finish a race in last place. Having said that he did look more competitive and carded his best home score of the season. I'm sure there's plenty more to come from Cooperman. James Wright failed to win a heat although he was good value for the points he scored but Ritchie was disappointing. Sorry to hear that Lee has broken both legs, one of them badly by the sound of things. Best wishes to him for a full recovery.
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