Speedway Report: Sheffield Tigers 54 Redcar Bears 38

Josh Grajczonek leads Todd Kurtz, Jason Garrity and Coty Garcia Ht 1
Josh Grajczonek leads Todd Kurtz, Jason Garrity and Coty Garcia Ht 1

Tigers continued their fine home form with a 54-38 win over Redcar.

With ex Sheffield men Jason Garrity and Richard Hall in the visiting line-up, the hosts knew a good start would be crucial to their chances.

Rob Branford leads Richard Hall and Tom Bacon Ht 2

Rob Branford leads Richard Hall and Tom Bacon Ht 2

And they couldn’t have asked for anything better when Josh Grajczonek, who went on to win all four of his rides, outmuscled Garrity in the opening bends to allow team-mate Todd Kurtz to come through for second.

Teenager Jack Parkinson-Blackburn swooped around the outside while Rob Branford dealt with Hall in the next as Sheffield stormed into a 10-2 lead.

The Bears clawed it back to 14-10 with four gone before the Tigers looked set for another 5-1. However, Lasse Bjerre shed a chain whilst in second and the hosts had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Sitting on another maximum into the final two bends of the next, Grajczonek took the chequered flag while controversy struck in the decision for second.

Kurtz looked comfortable until Ben Barker stormed underneath on the last lap and the Tigers No.2 went crashing into the air fence. Referee Mike Breckon felt it was Kurtz who came down too easily and was excluded to the home crowd’s dismay.

The Tigers clung on to their slender four point lead until heats nine and ten when they were able to bag another set of crucial 5-1s. Bates repaid the compliment for Kurtz by chopping Barkers’ nose off in the ninth before Grajczonek and Kurtz teamed up to cross the line in heat ten.

The Bears gave themselves a lifeline when Garrity bagged double points on a tactical in the twelfth but the Tigers would seal the points with two races to spare.

Barker retired on the opening two bends, before Garrity hit the front. However, the former Tiger shed a chain whilst leading, gifting Grajczonek and Howarth a 5-0.

Tigers have a doubt over Parkinson-Blackburn, who picked up a shoulder injury after sliding off, for Sunday’s trip to Scunthorpe.

SHEFFIELD 54: Josh Grajczonek 12, Kyle Howarth 11+1, Josh Bates 10+1, Rob Branford 8+2, Lasse Bjerre 6, Todd Kurtz 4+2, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn 3.

REDCAR 38: Jason Garrity 12, Richard Hall 8+1, Ben Barker 7, Coty Garcia 6+2, Charles Wright 4+1, Tom Bacon 1, Jonas B Andersen R/R.