Scunthorpe Scorpions 49 Sheffield Tigers 41

Charles Wright was a top performer for the Tigers on the night but could not inspire his side to the win over Scunthorpe
Charles Wright was a top performer for the Tigers on the night but could not inspire his side to the win over Scunthorpe

Charles Wright’s last-gasp win on the line was not enough for Sheffield to pinch a point from defeat at Scunthorpe.

Wright and number one Kyle Howarth led the charge but did not gain enough support to make it three Championship Shield wins in a row at the Eddie Wright Raceway.

The Sheffield Window Centre Tigers bit first with Todd Kurtz leading home Howarth to open with a maximum before Jack Smith and James Shanes spilt the Scorpions in the reserve race.

The hosts levelled when Jake Allen passed Somerset colleague Wright to file in behind winner Josh Auty in heat three before Jason Garrity completed an early turnaround with a chequered flag from the gate.

Howarth was excluded from the fifth for lifting and falling on turn one with Allen and Auty scampering away with a maximum in the re-run.

Six behind, Sheffield team boss Simon Stead utilised his tactical substitute with Howarth drafted in to lead what looked like a 5-1 before Lasse Bjerre got reined in Stefan Nielsen and then Thomas Jorgensen by the second bend of lap three.

The visitors did claw back some points when Wright won heat seven despite rider replacement Shanes being passed by Garrity on the back straight of lap one.

Shanes soon shrugged off any disappointment by winning a thrilling heat eight, leading a 4-2 with all four riders trading places throughout.

But that hard work was undone when Allen and Auty continued their push for paid maximums and Wright then had to limit the damage by recovering from last to pass Nielsen to file in behind Jorgensen in heat 10.

Howarth won a titanic tussle with Garrity to keep Sheffield in contention although Auty hit back, passing Wright during lap two of heat 12 to regain Scunthorpe’s eight-point lead.

A shared 13th saw each of the leading lights in contention before both Tigers finished behind Garrity.

The game was up when Allen beat Wright and Gino Manzares got the better of Shanes, each with blasts around the boards, to leave Sheffield requiring a maximum to take a point.

Wright pinched victory from Auty on the line, spoiling the home favourite’s hopes of a maximum but Howarth’s third meant the Tigers just fell short.

SCUNTHORPE 49: Josh Auty 13+1, Jake Allen 10+2, Jason Garrity 10, Gino Manzares 6, Thomas Jorgensen 5+1, Stefan Nielsen 5, Danny Phillips 0.

SHEFFIELD 41: Kyle Howarth 13+1, Charles Wright 11, Todd Kurtz 6, James Shanes 5+1, Lasse Bjerre 4+1, Jack Smith 2, Josh Bates r/r.

Championship Shield points: Scunthorpe 3 Sheffield 0.