Travis McGowan fends off Sheffield rider Hugh Skidmore but it was the English Tigers who emerged victorious
GLASGOW TIGERS had only four first team regulars in their side as they closed out their Premier League campaign at home to Sheffield on Sunday.
Missing were injured duo Joe Screen, for whom rider replacement was utilized, and skipper Lee Dicken while Jake Anderson was otherwise engaged with his parent club Dudley.
Tigers promoted number eight James McBain and drafted in guest Kyle Howarth who rode at 6 and 7 respectively.
The home side got off to a good start with Travis McGowan streaking from the start to take the win in a time just 0.9 seconds outside the track record.
Unfortunately John Branney couldn't trouble the scorers in last place resulting in a 3-3 drawn heat.
Heat two was also drawn, this time it was Sheffields impressive reserve Simon Lambert who took the flag with McBain and Howarth second and third.
The third race saw Branney take the rider replacement ride but managed to handicap himself by touching the tapes and therefore went off a 15m handicap from where he managed to get himself excluded for jumping the start again!
Nick Morris split the Sheffield pairing of the brilliantly named Hugh Skidmore and Richard Hall for a visitors 4-2 to make the progressive scores 8-10.
Sheffield took another 4-2 win in heat four with the race being awarded after Josh Grajczonek fell whilst putting race leader Josh Auty under pressure.
The honours were shared out through the mid part of the meeting with a re-run heat seven producing all sorts of action. Hall was excluded at the first time of asking after he roared into the third turn too fast, bailed out, hit the fence back first and saw his bike clear the fence!
Lambert went on to take the flag in front of Grajczonek and McBain, and he proved that this was no fluke by taking another impressive win in the next heat this time for a visitors 4-2 taking progressive scores to 22-26.
Heat nine saw only two finishers as both Steven Morris and Grajczonek fell and failed to complete the four laps. This left the impressive Auty to beat home rider Nick Morris for a 3-2 win. The next race was a 4-2 to Glasgow, McGowan winning for the fourth time and Branney taking third taking the score to 28-31.
The next two races were drawn before Sheffield took a vital 5-1 over McGowan and Grajczonek in heat 13. Ashworth nudged McGowan going into the first turn from the tapes which allowed Auty through to join him at the front. Glasgow were suddenly 35-42 down with two to go.
Nick Morris took an impressive win over Lambert and Hall for a drawn heat before team manager Stewart Dickson put him back out in heat 15 with McGowan. The Aussie whizz-kid took second place behind Auty and with McGowan third it was the Tigers from Sheffield who ran out winners 41-48.
Tigers scorers: McGowan 14, Branney 4, Morris 11, Grajczonek 5, McBain 3, Howarth 4
Next meeting is the Heathersfield Golden Helmet Individual meeting, featuring four members of the USA touring team before the season finale on the 24th October which will be the James Grieves Testimonial.