Speedway: Machin ends Tigers reign on losing note

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Sheffield ended their season and Neil Machin’s 21-year reign with a heavy 54-24 defeat at rivals Scunthorpe.

The two sides battled for the Retro Cup over two legs and it was the Scorpions who triumphed.

After their six-point defeat at Owlerton on Thursday, Sheffield needed something special to turn things around but they failed to do so, and were humbled by 2012 Premier League champions Scunthorpe.

After expressing his wish to sell the club in the winter it is likely that this was Machin’s last meeting as Tigers owner. It was only a challenge meeting and Sheffield deserve praise for playing their part this weekend in raising money for two ex-Tigers who have suffered recent serious injuries.

On Saturday night a Sheffield select side took part in a challenge match against Berwick for Ricky Ashworth, who remains in a coma after a serious crash eight weeks ago. The two sides played out an entertaining 39-39 draw, with Andre Compton winning the Rider of the Night second half.

After a slow start the city side made a late comeback, winning the last two races, and that meant that the spoils were shared in front of a packed Shielfield Park.

Sheffield-born racer Ashley Birks, who started his shale career at Owlerton, suffered a broken back and collarbone and faces months of rehabilitation.

Off the track both sets of fans raised over £650 to aid him in his recovery, and on the track Scunthorpe side handed Tigers a sound beating.