Speedway: Simon Stead shines as Sheffield Tigers break their duck

Taylor Poole in action for Sheffield Tigers  in last night's victory over Glasgow
Taylor Poole in action for Sheffield Tigers in last night's victory over Glasgow

Super skipper Simon Stead earned rave reviews after slamming in a magnificent five-ride maximum to lead Sheffield to a first Premier League win of the season.

Team boss Joe Screen led the praise after his number one went through the card as the bottom-of-the-table Tigers saw off their Scottish namesakes at Owlerton.

Screen said: “It’s great to get a win on the board after not racing for so long - and even better to see our number one riding like that.

“Simon has had a bit of a slow start to the season, but he is full of confidence now and that rubs off on the other lads.

“We all know he is a top rider and I don’t see why he can’t top the Premier League averages with performances like this.”

Sheffield stormed out of the traps as Stead and partner Taylor Poole provided the perfect start with a 5-1 in the opener.

British Under 21 champion Josh Bates then led home a 4-2 in the second and another 4-2 followed when Ty Proctor claimed the first race win of his Sheffield career by holding off Theo Pijper in heat four.

Stead and Bates formed a successful makeshift combination when landing a 5-1 in heat six – the latter getting the nod after Poole had ploughed into the tapes.

Proctor’s night went downhill as he was powerless to prevent Glasgow top-scorer Anders Thomsen completing a successful tactical ride in a heat seven 6-3 for the visitors. Poole’s retirement from the third spot in heat eight then gifted them a 4-2.

Poole also lost out to Thomsen in a battle for second in heat 10 as main men Stead completed a hat-trick of heat wins, but more problems for Proctor followed.

He eventually raced from a 15-metre handicap in heat 11 after twice touching the tapes at the start and predictably made no impression as Glasgow duo Kevin Wolbert and Christian Henry bagged a 5-1. But any fears of a Sheffield collapse were dismissed as Proctor redeemed himself by following home Stead for a maximum in heat 13 to clinch victory.

Maximum points were soon in the bag as Andre Compton blasted round the boards to inspire a 4-2 in the penultimate race and Stead provided the perfect finish by completing his flawless display in the finale.

Sheffield face a daunting task against more Scottish opposition tonight as they travel to unbeaten Edinburgh in the opening leg of a League Cup semi-final.

They are sweating over the fitness of youngster Bates who was due to go to hospital for x-rays on his back following a crash last weekend. Bates pulled up in his final ride last night.

SHEFFIELD: Simon Stead 15, Leigh Lanham 9, Josh Bates 8+1, Andre Compton 6+3, Ty Proctor 6+2, Simon Nielson 5, Taylor Poole 3+1

GLASGOW: Anders Thomsen 14+1, Kevin Wolbert 10, Theo Pijper 6, Christian Henry 5+1, Rafal Konopka 3, Rusty Harrison 2, Kasper Lykke 1+1dd