Thursday October 13, 2022
SHEFFIELD were pipped to the Premiership league title as they were beaten 91-89 on aggregate by rivals Belle Vue.

The Tru Plant Tigers won their home leg 50-40 in front of a jam-packed Owlerton Stadium on Thursday, but were cruelly denied a first ever top-flight title.

12 points down from Monday’s first leg in Manchester, the night got off to the perfect start for Sheffield when they bagged a 5-1 in the re-run of the opener after Aces’ captain Brady Kurtz was excluded for taking the front wheel of Lewis Kerr out of bend two.

But the decisions were well and truly levelled out when Adam Ellis was controversially thrown out of Heat Three, despite being ahead of his Belle Vue opponent Tom Brennan who was already unsettled into bend two.

After that, a hat-trick of 3-3s followed before Sheffield barged their way right back into the tie with three heat advantages in the space of four races.

That left the Tigers trailing by two on aggregate before another major turning point in Heat 11.

Tobiasz Musielak worked extremely hard to pass Kurtz fairly up the inside down the back straight of lap three - but the visiting skipper came down and it was Musielak who was eventually disqualified following yet another questionable decision by SCB Referee Christina Turnbull.

The visitors were awarded a 5-1 and out of nowhere the stuttering visitors were noticeably boosted.

Ellis and Musielak claimed the next two race wins - but their team-mates couldn’t make up the minor places leaving the gap at six overall with two to go.

And in the very penultimate race, Justin Sedgmen pulled off one of the rides of the season to go from third to first - but that was totally overshadowed and it wasn’t enough to stop the visitors ending their 29 year misery without a league title to their name, with a hard fought consolation 5-1 for the Tigers in the very final race proving even more frustrating.

An understandably annoyed team boss Simon Stead said: “We were robbed.

“Some of the refereeing decisions over the two legs, in my opinion, have been horrendous and ultimately that’s what’s cost us.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything more from the boys, they’ve given it absolutely everything.

“Unfortunately, the team have been robbed and the Sheffield supporters have been robbed of at least a grand finale in Heat 15 because it really could’ve gone down to that.

“I would’ve been quite happy seeing the lads battle it out for the win and I would’ve taken it on the chin at that point if we weren’t good enough.

“But I felt we were good enough and it’s just some poor decisions which have gone against us and cost us which is a real shame.

“It’s a real shame that this Grand Final will be left with people talking about refereeing decisions.”

Sheffield still have the opportunity to grab some silverware in 2022.

They head to King’s Lynn on Monday (October 17, 7.30) for the first leg of the Premiership League Cup Final with the decider at Owlerton next Thursday (October 20, 7.30).

Meanwhile, the outstanding regular league fixture against Ipswich will now take place at Owlerton on Monday, October 24, 7.30 with further news to come regarding Round Five of the Premiership Pairs.

SHEFFIELD 50: Tobiasz Musielak 10+1, Jack Holder 9+1, Lewis Kerr 9, Justin Sedgmen 6+1, Adam Ellis 6, Connor Mountain 5+2, Kyle Howarth 5.
BELLE VUE 40: Robert Lambert 10, Tom Brennan 9, Norick Blodorn 7+4, Matej Zagar 7+1, Brady Kurtz 5+2, Simon Lambert 2, Charles Wright R/R.
Belle Vue win 91-89 on aggregate and are crowned 2022 Premiership League Champions.

Photo Credit: IAN CHARLES

Share This:   Facebook Twitter