Sheffield saw their Premier League dreams ended for another year as they were beaten in the play-offs by Peterborough.
Having slipped to a 46-44 home defeat against the Panthers at Owlerton, the Tigers travelled to the East of England Showground up against it in their bid to keep their season alive.
They put in a brave effort in a fiercely-contested clash, but it was not enough to see them emerge victorious as they slumped to a 51-38 defeat.
After enduring a nightmare year on the injury front, their hopes were dealt a blow early on as Kyle Howarth – guesting for injured No.1 Jason Garrity – was forced to withdraw after crashing heavily on the final bend of the opening race of the night.
Left a man short for the remainder of the meeting, Danish ace Nicolai Klindt fought admirably with a classy performance whilst local lad Josh Bates also impressed in the engine room of the side.
The duo combined for a 5-1 in heat seven to give them a brief glimmer of hope after they had slipped 14 behind early on, and they repeated the trick in heat 10. However, by then their hopes were all but over as they trailed by 12 despite the tenacity of their middle order pairing.
When Anders Thomsen brilliantly picked off Klindt to lower the colours of his fellow Dane for the first time in heat 12 it mathematically confirmed victory for the home side and broke Tigers’ hearts.
Jack Lee’s side nonetheless fought on with talented young gun Bates tremendously blasting from third to first in the penultimate race before Klindt wrapped up a superb individual showing with victory in heat 15.
However, their double figure contributions were not backed up by their colleagues with none of their remaining riders recording race wins.
With Howarth ruled out early on, reserve duo Paco Castagna and Robin Aspegren struggled on hectic evenings down at reserve as the Owlerton outfit were second best against a spirited Peterborough side.
PETERBOROUGH 51: Michael Palm Toft 12+1, Simon Lambert 12+1, Emil Grondal 11+1, Ben Barker 8+2, Anders Thomsen 8+1, Rafal Konopka 0, Ulrich Ostergaard r/r.
SHEFFIELD 38: Nicolai Klindt 13+1, Josh Bates 10+1, Andre Compton 6, David Bellego 4, Paco Castagna 3+1, Robin Aspegren 2+1, Kyle Howarth 0.
Peterborough win 97-82 on aggregate.