Thursday May 09, 2024
SHEFFIELD are through to the Knockout Cup Semi-Finals after edging a classic against rivals Belle Vue.

The Tru7 Group Tigers staged a stunning late comeback to win 49-41 on the night and force a Super Heat to settle the score.

That’s where top two Tai Woffinden and Jack Holder stepped up to the plate to register an all-important 7-2 to complete the turnaround.

The Tigers managed two 4-2s in the opening three races before a run of four shared heats followed.

They then conceded a 4-2 in Heat Eight as the visitors restored their eight point aggregate advantage.

A big turning point came in Heat Nine when Belle Vue were denied a 5-1 thanks to the determined efforts of Josh Pickering and Chris Holder who both passed former Tiger Connor Mountain on the last lap.

Sheffield temporarily sat on a 5-1 themselves in Heat Ten, but Jack Holder did team-mate Kyle Howarth few favours into bend three and the skipper was relegated to the back.

Woffinden and Chris Holder led further 3-3s in Heats 11 and 12 - and with the Aces still leading by eight on aggregate, the odds seemed stacked against the Steel City side.

Jack Holder and Woffinden worked their way into a 5-1 position in Heat 13, but the latter was caught out by the track and lifted in between bends three and four mid-race, allowing Dan Bewley to split the pair.

Tigers needed an advantage in the penultimate programmed race and their pairing came up with the goods. Pickering rounded fellow Aussie Ben Cook, whilst Jason Edwards held off Belle Vue’s Rising Star Connor Bailey for a vital third place.

Woffinden and Jack Holder outgated Bewley and Jaimon Lidsey in Heat 15 before team riding superbly to force the ultimate showdown.

And they replicated such start to gain a lead over Bewley and Brady Kurtz in the Super Heat to raise the roof at Owlerton and send the Aces packing.

Sheffield will face King’s Lynn home and away in the first week of June in the next round - but next, their attentions return to the ROWE Motor Oil Premiership with another home fixture on Monday (May 13, 7.30pm) against Ipswich in a repeat of last year’s Grand Final.

SHEFFIELD 49: Tai Woffinden 13, Jack Holder 12+2, Chris Holder 9+1, Josh Pickering 7+1, Kyle Howarth 3, Jason Edwards 3, Dan Gilkes 2.
BELLE VUE 41: Dan Bewley 10+1, Norick Blodorn 7, Jaimon Lidsey 6+2, Ben Cook 6, Brady Kurtz 4+1, Connor Mountain 4+1, Connor Bailey 4.
Aggregate scores tied (90-90) – Sheffield beat Belle Vue 7-2 in Super Heat

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