Ipswich 51 Sheffield Tigers 39: First defeat of season for Tigers

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Sheffield suffered a late collapse to fall to their first defeat of the season in competitive racing, 51-39 at Ipswich.

The Owlerton side were unbeaten in five League Cup meetings, booking their place in the semi-finals with a win over the Witches at Owlerton on Thursday.

But they were unable to earn their third away win of the season as they faded in the closing stages following a bright start.

Two classy race wins from Jason Garrity early on, backed up by victories for Simon Stead and Josh Bates, helped them take a slender lead after seven heats.

However, the home side came on strong – led by former Tigers’ ace Nico Covatti – to leave them travelling back to Yorkshire empty handed.

It was a disappointing night for the Tigers, but joint team manager Marc Bates was nonetheless keen to move on from the defeat.

He believes they are in good shape heading into their Premier League opener against Rye House at Owlerton this Thursday (7.30) – but he still believes they have room for improvement.

“We’d have liked to carry on our winning run, but Ipswich is always a hard place to come,” Bates said.

“We are still through to the League Cup semi-finals though, that’s the main thing and we aren’t too concerned about tonight and it’s been a solid start for us.”

Garrity, Stead and Bates all put in solid showings at Foxhall, whilst Kyle Howarth ended on a high with a race win after struggling early on.

However, Dimitri Berge and Richard Hall largely struggled as the Tigers ran nine last places and earned only six race victories over the course of the evening.

IPSWICH 51: Nico Covatti 13, James Sarjeant 11, Morten Risager 8, Paco Castagna 6+1, Danny King 5+3, Lewis Kerr 5, Darryl Ritchings 3+1.

SHEFFIELD 39: Jason Garrity 9+1, Simon Stead 9, Josh Bates 9, Kyle Howarth 5+1, Dimitri Berge 3, Nathan Greaves 3, Richard Hall 1.