SHEFFIELD TIGERS 52 BERWICK BANDITS 43: Berwick went down to a nine point defeat at the hands of Sheffield on Thursday.
It was the Bandits first meeting in over a fortnight and with the Tigers welcoing back skipper Simon Stead, they knew it was going to be a tough ask to get anything out of the meeting on a track were traditionally they have never performed all that well in the past.
As it was, Stead went on to complete an unbeaten four ride paid maximum, and with Joe Haines also looking untouchable as he completed an 11+1 full house, the Tigers were always in the ascendency.
Ricky Wells also weighed in with a useful score, but it was the form of reserve damien Koppe which swung the meeting the Yorkshireside’s way, as he had two wins in his more than useful contribution of 11+1.
Berwick were boosted by the presence of injured skipper Ricky Ashworth in the pits. He gave his team-mates every encouragement against his former club, who still hold his contract, but unfortunately he wasn’t able to lift them sufficiently enough to seriously challenge for any of the league points on offer.
Ashworth’s replacement, Edward Kennett was Berwick’s most successful rider, winning two races, including one as a double-pointed tactical ride, as he top-scored with 14 points.
Robin Aspegren also claimed a win and a second place as a second tactical, but with Matty Wethers and Nicki Barrett their only other race winners the Bandits failed to claw back the deficit after falling 39-23 behind at one stage.
Team manager Ian Rae said: “This wasn’t the return to form we had been hoping for butthere were some good moments in the second half of the meeting.”
Sheffield: D Koppe 11+1, J Haines 11+1 (p/max), S Stead 10+2 (p/max), R Wells 10+1, R Hall 6, F Albin 3+1, J Knight 1.
Berwick - E Kennett 14, R Aspegren 11, N Barrett 5+1, M Wethers 4+1, P Starke 4+1, K Smith 3+1, D Bellego 2