SHEFFIELD made it two away wins from two League Cup matches with a 46-44 triumph at Wolverhampton.
The Tigers are now clear favourites to reach the Final after following up last week’s victory at Belle Vue, and once again the meeting was won in a last heat decider.
Sheffield led by four points but Wolves duo Ryan Douglas and Nick Morris looked set for a 5-1 before Adam Ellis rounded Morris to claim the crucial second place.
Ellis top-scored for the Tigers with 11 and former Wolves man Tobiasz Musielak collected 10+1. Douglas scored 10+1 for the hosts with Morris on 10.
Sheffield boss Simon Stead said: “What was nice tonight was that we had seven fit riders for the first time and they all did their bit.
“They all pulled together as a team, they rode well together, the team atmosphere was great and they were all pleased that we got the result we wanted and got the job done.”
Douglas said: “It just wasn’t to be tonight. Sheffield are probably the strongest team on paper and they’ve got a strong side, but on another night we could’ve won.
“Obviously we’re disappointed, but it’s still early days and a few more meetings around here will iron out any mistakes.”
PETERBOROUGH made a solid start to their League Cup campaign by defeating Ipswich 53-37 at the East of England Arena.
Chris Harris dropped just one point for the Panthers with 14 from five rides, and there was also an impressive debut for their only new signing Benjamin Basso, who racked up 12+2 at reserve. Michael Palm Toft added 11.
Harris and Basso combined for a decisive 5-1 in Heat 11 when the Witches paired Jason Doyle and Erik Riss, the latter taking a tactical substitute ride. Riss top-scored on his debut for the club with 11+1.
Panthers boss Rob Lyon said: “I couldn’t have asked for any more. It was a great team performance, and to win by 16 points is an excellent start for us.“Ben was very good, and quick, and he enjoyed it out here. It was a tremendous debut – as we’ve said before, he was our first choice, and I think everybody can see why now!”
Ipswich manager Ritchie Hawkins said: “It was a decent meeting, and I think we were probably better than if you just looked at the result. I’ve seen enough tonight from my boys to believe we’ve got a good team, and we’ll be in for a good season.
“I think Jason (Doyle) just struggled out of the starts tonight, but I was so happy with Rissy (Erik Riss). I thought he was superb – and Batch (Troy Batchelor) to be fair, I thought he rode better than his points suggested.”
POOLE kick off their defence of the Championship KO Cup with a quarter-final trip to Plymouth tonight (Tuesday- UK time).
The Pirates eliminated the Gladiators en route to the silverware last year and include two former Plymouth riders, with Zach Cook having spent 2021 with the Devon side and Richard Lawson having a late-season stint with the club.
Poole co-promoter Danny Ford said: “Last season we beat them at their place in the Cup and it would be great for us to repeat that this time around.
“Stevie (Worrall) goes well there, and when we beat them in the Cup that was riding against Richard Lawson who hit double figures for them.
“So if he can do something similar now he is in our colours then we can certainly give them a run for their money and put ourselves in a good position to finish the job on Wednesday when we bring them back to Wimborne Road.”
WEDNESDAY APRIL 6:
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP Q/F 2nd leg: Poole v Plymouth 7.30; 1st round 2nd leg: Birmingham v Leicester 7.30
THURSDAY APRIL 7:
LEAGUE CUP: King’s Lynn v Ipswich 7.30, Sheffield v Belle Vue 7.30
FRIDAY APRIL 8:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Redcar v Plymouth 7.30
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Armadale v Berwick 7.30