Speedway: Sheffield Tigers 39 Somerset Rebels 51

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Tigers crashed out of the League Cup with only their second home defeat of the season at the hands of title favourites Somerset.

It proved to be another tough night for a depleted Sheffield side who were without big hitters Simon Stead and Jason Garrity.

The first six races saw five shared heats with a 4-2 in the opener the difference between the two sides in the early stages.

French star Dimitri Berge built on his World Under-21 Final second round triumph in the Czech Republic by winning his first two outings at Owlerton, including a 4-2 with guest Richard Lawson.

Tigers looked set for a repeat scoreline in the second, but Nathan Greaves fell while in third on the final lap and was passed by Somerset guest reserve Tom Bacon who had started 15 metres back after initially breaking the tapes.

Visiting No. 3 Charles Wright got his night off to a winning start in heat three before taking the chequered flag in two crucial 5-1’s. Heat seven saw him make the gate before team-mate Paul Starke blasted around the outside on bend four of the opening lap. That edged the Rebels in front for the first time before Wright and Bradley Wilson-Dean dominated away from the starts in the eighth to move six up on the night.

Back-to-back heat wins from Kyle Howarth saw the Tigers get back on track as he lead two race advantages. A 4-2 with Bates closed the gap before a 5-1 with Lawson pulled them back level.

Howarth made the gate and stormed clear but it was Lawson who was involved in a terrific battle with Wright before diving underneath the Somerset man to tie the scores at 30-30.

However, the fightback was short lived and further consecutive 5-1’s from the Rebels in heats 12, 13 and 15, after being quickest out of the gates, condemned Sheffield to just their second home defeat of the season.

Tigers now have to re-group ahead of their play-off quarter-final first leg against Newcastle at Owlerton next Thursday (September 29).

SHEFFIELD 39: Kyle Howarth 9+2, Dimitri Berge 9, Arthur Sissis 8+1, Richard Lawson 7+1, Josh Bates 6+1, Nathan Greaves 0, Jason Garrity R/R

SOMERSET 51: Josh Grajczonek 13+1, Charles Wright 13, Rohan Tungate 12+1, Bradley Wilson-Dean 8+2, Paul Starke 3+2, Tom Bacon 2+2, Jake Allen R/R.