Monday April 01, 2024
SHEFFIELD trail by eight points at the mid-way point of their Premiership Knockout Cup Quarter-Final tie with Belle Vue.

The Tru7 Group Tigers were beaten 49-41 in the first leg at the National Speedway Stadium on Monday afternoon, leaving them with an eight point deficit to overturn this Thursday (April 4, 7.30) at Owlerton.

In the opening set of races, a 5-1 from Belle Vue’s reserves in Heat Two proved the early difference with the Tigers having to wait until Heat Four for their first winner.

The visiting duo gated on a maximum and whilst Tai Woffinden held on to take the chequered flag, Rising Star Dan Gilkes was passed on the opening lap by Grand Prix star Dan Bewley before Connor Bailey capitalised on a dramatic lift down the back straight for a third shared race.

Belle Vue doubled their advantage with another maximum in Heat Five before Woffinden made it two out of two in the sixth as the Tigers registered their first advantage. The triple World Champion executed a beautiful swoop around home skipper Brady Kurtz on the entrance to lap two whilst Jason Edwards held on for third ahead of Norick Blodorn who had been a winner first time out.

Chris Holder and Josh Pickering teamed up for Sheffield’s only 5-1 in Heat Seven - but the hosts delivered an instant reply in the very next race with Gilkes handed a 15 metre handicap for exceeding the two minute time allowance.

Woffinden eased to a third straight victory in Heat Nine but despite an impressive gate, Edwards was relegated to the back with a forceful move from Ben Cook at the end of lap two.

Pickering and Chris Holder picked up the minor places in the tenth before Jack Holder took his first race win of the afternoon in Heat 11 with Kyle Howarth re-passing Connor Mountain for third.

Belle Vue restored their six point lead with a 4-2 in Heat 12 and maintained the gap when Brady Kurtz produced a fine ride to get past Jack Holder as well as becoming the first rider to defeat Woffinden in Heat 13.

The Aces added another couple of points to their lead with a 4-2 in Heat 14, but a fourth classy victory from Woffinden in the last ensures the tie is nicely poised ahead of Thursday’s decider at Owlerton.

BELLE VUE 49: Jaimon Lidsey 10, Norick Blodorn 9, Ben Cook 7+2, Connor Bailey 6+3, Dan Bewley 6+1, Connor Mountain 6, Brady Kurtz 5.
SHEFFIELD 41: Tai Woffinden 13+1, Chris Holder 8+1, Josh Pickering 7+2, Jack Holder 6+1, Kyle Howarth 5, Jason Edwards 2, Dan Gilkes 0.

Photo credit: IAN CHARLES

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