Sep 28 2011 By Fraser Wilson
Grieves, left, and Joe Screen were in top form against Sheffield
JAMES GRIEVES saluted the Glasgow Tigers fans after they helped roar the Ashfield side to the brink of a first Premier League title in 17 years on Monday.
Glasgow won the Bank Holiday grudge match against title rivals Sheffield Tigers 54-40 amidst an electric atmosphere in Possil.
A final heat 5-1 from Grieves and Joe Screen ensured a bonus point for Stewart Dickson's men and sent second-placed Sheffield home to think again.
And victory was made extra sweet for Grieves and his team mates after weeks of bad mouthing from their catty opponents who were smarting about an earlier season call-off due to a waterlogged Ashfield.
Grieves, who notched 12 points from his five heats, said: "That was incredible, what an atmosphere.
"Ashfield was electric and, while the fans have been brilliant all season, that was the best I have known for a long time.
"We had to delay the start to allow the big crowd in and they played their part, they knew what was at stake.
"The fact that Sheffield had been bad mouthing us for weeks only served to fire us and the supporters up more and we did our talking on the track.
"It was a great night of racing which went down to the wire. The title is definitely within sight now but we won't get carried away.
"Everyone is now saying that we have won the league but we can't think like that. It's a cliche but we can't start celebrating until it's mathematically impossible for our rivals to catch us.
"Workington still have a few meetings left and we have a couple of tricky meetings with Newport so it could all still change.
"All it takes is for a bad injury to hit us at a crucial time. Theo Pijper got a sore one on Monday and, should he be missing for the next couple of weeks that would be a disaster because he has been scoring big points for us recently."
Monday's meeting was nip and tuck until the last five heats when the home side streaked ahead of the Yorkshiremen whose captain, ex-Ashfield favourite Shane Parker, was making his last ever appearance in Glasgow.
The victory keeps Glasgow's incredible 100 per cent home record in tact and moves them nine points ahead of the Steelmen and 22 ahead of Workington who have three games in hand.
Grieves added: "It was nip and tuck at the beginning, Sheffield kept close to us but we pulled away after heat 10 or 11 and it was important to seal the bonus point in the final heat.
"Ricky Ashworth never appeared for them on the night and that certainly worked in our favour as they never got much from the rider replacement."
Grieves also paid tribute to retiring Parker, who spent six years with Glasgow before moving on two years ago.
He said: "It was nice to catch up with Shane and we had a few jostles on the track - I won two of our three heats although he said I should have given him the last one!
"But he will be a big miss to British speedway. He is a great guy both on and off the track.
"He is always one of the first to sign up for testimonials and things like that and he is a real legend around these parts."