Sheffield withstood a mid-meeting Newcastle fightback to record another vital Premier League victory at Owlerton last night.
The Window Centre Tigers saw a ten-point lead slashed to one in mid-meeting, but with maximum man Jason Garrity in sensational form and a solid team effort elsewhere, the home side had enough to prevail.
Tigers looked comfortable in the early stages with only precocious teen talent Robert Lambert offering a serious threat for the visitors.
Lambert won his first two outings but Sheffield still recorded a series of race advantages to open up an eight-point advantage, which became ten in Heat 7 when the Diamonds’ Matej Kus lost third place with mechanical trouble.
Disaster struck the Tigers in Heat 8, though, as Nathan Greaves and then Josh Bates both crashed out, the latter heavily on his comeback from injury and did not take his final ride.
It handed Newcastle a 5-0 – but it could have been worse, as the visitors had resisted the temptation to use a tactical ride which would have seen them score eight.
Even so, the Diamonds still cut the gap to a single point when skipper Simon Stead was on the receiving end of a 5-1 at the hands of Kus and guest Jack Holder, putting Tigers in a nervous position with five races to go.
The effervescent Garrity pulled of the ride of the night in Heat 11 as he emerged on top in a stunning battle with Lambert, and Tigers caught another break in the next when Lewis Rose fell, although Kus headed Kyle Howarth in the re-run.
But the big move came in Heat 13 when Garrity and Stead combined to see off the Diamonds’ top two of Lambert and Steve Worrall, Stead showing all of his Owlerton knowledge to overcome the Newcastle No.1.
Dimitri Berge then stole a win off Holder in the closing stages of Heat 14 to make sure of the points for the Tigers, and the visitors were denied even a consolation in the last when Garrity wrapped up his second successive home full house in another terrific scrap with Lambert.
SHEFFIELD 49: Jason Garrity 15, Dimitri Berge 10, Kyle Howarth 6+3, Simon Stead 6+2, Nathan Greaves 5+1, Arthur Sissis 4, Josh Bates 3+1.
NEWCASTLE 40: Robert Lambert 11, Matej Kus 10, Steve Worrall 9+1, Jack Holder 6+1, Lewis Rose 4+1, Danny Phillips 0, Victor Palovaara r/r.