Thursday March 23, 2023
SHEFFIELD got their season off to a winning start with a 48-42 home success over reigning Champions Belle Vue.

The Tru Plant Tigers had to dig deep in testing conditions along the way, caused by rain showers in the build-up to the meeting.

But the rain didn’t stop them getting off to a dream start as birthday boy Jack Holder and winter signing David Bellego opened with a 5-1 over British Champion Dan Bewley.

The Belle Vue No.1 led a maximum for the visitors as they pulled level in Heat Five though - and with eight heats gone, the men from Manchester edged in front.

But the Owlerton outfit produced a strong second half showing to wrap up their first league points of the season with a race to spare.

Captain Kyle Howarth and Adam Ellis both forced their way past Aces skipper Brady Kurtz to claim a 5-1 in Heat Nine before Holder and Bellego teamed up for their third advantage of the night in the tenth.

It was Heat 11 that brought the house down though as Lewis Kerr made a blistering getaway from gate three, while Tobiasz Musielak rode superbly in second place to keep Grand Prix star Bewley at bay.

The eight point gap enabled the visitors to use their tactical substitution option - and it worked to perfection as they halved the deficit with a 5-1.

But back-to-back 4-2s from Musielak and Holder and then Kerr and Howarth guaranteed the win for the Tigers as they secured their seventh home win in eight meetings against their War of the Roses rivals since stepping up into the top-flight.

Tru Plant Tigers team boss Simon Stead said: “It’s always nice to get the first one over and done with and get it out of the way - and it’s always even nicer when you manage to open with a win.

“They were tricky conditions out there but I thought everyone applied themselves really well, both the home and away team.

“All-in-all, I think the result was probably a fair result and I don’t think they’ll be unhappy either.

“I said before the meeting that our season wouldn’t be defined by however we did tonight.

“I think it was a decent night’s racing, I think we’ve got more in the tank, I think we ironed out a few little niggles but that’s what these early meetings can be about.”

The Tru Plant Tigers head to the National Speedway Stadium on Monday (March 27, 7.30) - and not only will there be the two match points on the line, but also the aggregate point up for grabs following the reintroduction of that method into this year’s Premiership.

SHEFFIELD 48: Tobiasz Musielak 12+1, Jack Holder 9+1, Lewis Kerr 8, David Bellego 7, Kyle Howarth 6, Adam Ellis 5+2, Dan Gilkes 1+1.

BELLE VUE 42: Brady Kurtz 12, Charles Wright 8+1, Dan Bewley 7, Norick Blodorn 4+1, Jaimon Lidsey 4+1, Jake Mulford 4, Tom Brennan 3.

Photo Credit: IAN CHARLES

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