Sheffield 'Star' Tigers Match Reports 1998

Later match reports...

Thursday 27th August , Premier League

SHEFFIELD 41                        PETERBOROUGH 49                    
Stoney     2  3  3  2  3  2  15     G. Cunningham 3  3  3  3  3  15
R. Larsen  rider replacement        P. Berge      1  1  3  2'     7+1
A. Compton 3  2  E  X         5     B. Woodifield 1' 2  1' 3  1   8+2
R. Aas     0  E  1' 2         3+1   N. Sadler     2  1' 2  2      7+1
S. Smith   3  3  1  1' 1  E   9+1   C. Watson (G) 1  2  3  0      6
D. Keats   1' 0  0  1         2+1   S. Stead      3  0  1  2'     6+1
T. Palmer  E  2  2' 1  2  0   7+1   O. Allen      0  0  0         0
Sheffield surrender their unbeaten home record against a rather powerful Peterborough side. Cunningham outpaces Stoney in heat 1 with Palmer pulling out, and Stead easily wins the reserves race but Allen tailed off. Compton swoops round Woodifield and Sadler to take heat 3 but Aas nowhere and Peterborough still lead by two. Smith easily wins heat 4 and Palmer somehow keeps Watson in third for a Sheffield 5-1 and a two point lead. Two more 3-3's follow but the a set back for Sheffield in heat 9 as Compton stops yards from the start and Aas can only manage second and it's all square at 27-27. Stoney nips under Sadler to win heat 10 but then total disaster for Sheffield as Smith loses the lead in heat 11 as Cunningham and Berge both pass him on lap 3 for a Peterborough 5-1. Another follows in heat 12 as Keats clips Compton's back wheel on the first corner and falls but somehow the ref decides to exclude Compton. Keats on the floor for a good while but he's tough and takes part in the re-run. Try as he might he can't pass Stead and with Woodifield out in front it's suddenly an 8 point Peterborough lead. Cunningham cleverly passes Stoney on the last corner of heat 13 and for the first time (I think) this season at home, Sheffield use a tactical bringing in both Stoney and Smith for heat 14. Stoney wins OK, but Smith can't get past Sadler. Sheffield 4-2 not enough and Peterborough seal the meeting. Heat 15 a classic as Stoney has Cunningham and Woodifield all over him and Cunningham makes another clever pass on the third lap.

For Sheffield, Stoney was only beaten by Cunningham (three times would you believe). Compton began brightly but then hit by the EF and then the exclusion or it could have gone the other way. Aas had a poor night and Smith faded badly. Keats could not live with riding against heat leaders all night. Tommy Palmer had his moments (heat 4 for example).

Cunningham was superb. Best visiting rider this season easily. Very very quick and won most of his races from the back including those two excellent passes of Stoney. The rest (Allen excluded) were very solid as you'd expect from a top 5 with a lowest average of 7.93.

For Sheffield this result kind of takes the edge off the Newcastle win. With luck they could have got a draw, but it was no disgrace. Peterborough will surely go on to win the league and probably the 4TT as well.

Sunday 23rd August , Premier League

An excellent all round performance from Sheffield brings an equally excellent away win in difficult conditions in Geordieland. Very wet and slippery track but some entertaining races all the same.

NEWCASTLE 39                            SHEFFIELD 53
N. Pedersen   2  3  3  3  2  2   15     Stoney     3  0  3  3  3     12
J. Birkinshaw 0  0  1  0          1     R/R
B. Werner     3  3  3  2' 1'     12+2   A. Compton E  2  1' 1         4+1
S. Swales     1  2' 1  F          4+1   R. Aas     2  1' 2  2' 3  0  10+2
J. Olsen      0  3  1  1'         5+1   S. Smith   2' 2  2  F         6+1
D. McAllan    F  0  F  1          1     D. Keats   X  1  1' 2'        4+2
J. Swales     X  1  0             1     T. Palmer  1  3  3  3  0  2' 12+1
Sheffield fully deserved the win even though Newcastle tried hard to make it easy for Sheffield. Tigers start with a 4-2 and then a bizarre heat 2 sees Palmer the only rider to finish after a rerun. Keats falls and is excluded in the first running, Swales can't beat the two minute allowance in the re-run and then McAllan falls. Newcastle pull a couple back in heat 3 thanks to a Compton ef. Olsen falls in heat 4 to gift a 5-1 to Sheffield to put them seven in front but then Stoney returns the favour in the next heat. Palmer and Keats gain a 5-1 in heat 8 and then Olsen falls again in heat 11 to turn a Sheffield 4-2 in to a 5-1 for a 9 point Sheffield lead. The anticipated appearance of Pedersen as a T/S to partner Werner in heat 12 gets four back for Newcastle although Compton was always close enough to capitalize on any mistakes. Then a crucial heat 13. Smith falls on the first corner but Stoney beats off an early Pedersen challenge to take it. Aas and Palmer take a 5-1 in heat 14 after Stuart Swales falls whilst challenging Aas for second. This seals the win. Stoney takes heat 15 and it's 39-53.

Although the conditions were difficult, Sheffield adapted much better than Newcastle and showed the benefit of better gating as demonstrated by Aas. Stoney was untouchable and would have had a 15 max if not for his fall. Compton on the pace as was Smith and Keats. Palmer had easy races but still surprised by doing so well.

Pedersen and Werner the only home riders to offer anything. Olsen had a night to forget as did Stuart Swales but Birkinshaw, McAllan and Jonathan Swales never remotely looked like beating a Sheffield rider.

This was well worth the trip up the A1 for. This win should see Sheffield move up to 5th place but a testing home meeting against Peterborough on Thursday to come. Must win to maintain the momentum.

Thursday 20th August , Premier League

Yet another convincing home win and bonus point for Sheffield. Edinburgh actually had the gall to lead by 2 points after heat 4 and it looked like it might be tough for the Tigers but fears unfounded again as points begin to flow. Compton the star of the show with more astounding passing from WAY back and Keats continues to impress and impress somebody enough to give him a new bike before the meeting.

SHEFFIELD 52                         EDINBURGH 38
Stoney     3  3  3  3  1'   13+1     P. Carr      2  1  0  E  3  3   9
R/R                                  R/R
A. Compton 2  2' 3  3  2    12+1     K. Little    1  2  0  2         5
R. Aas     0  3  3  1  1'    8+1     M. Andersson 1' 3  0  2  1' 0   7+2
S. Smith   3  3  3  1       10       K. McKinna   2  2  2  2  2     10
D. Keats   3  1  1  1  2     8       B. Scott     2  0  0  2  E      4
T. Palmer  0  E  E  0  1  0  1       B. Campbell  1' 1' 1' 0         3+3

Edinburgh take a two point lead with a 4-2 over Compton and Aas in heat 3. Compton can't make up the ground on Andersson after passing Little with Aas trailed off. Smith wins heat 4 easily but Palmer has a nightmare and can't manage a finish despite this being his third ride of the night already. It didn't get any better for him.

Heat 5 brings a classic. Aas and Compton gate over Carr. Aas away and gone but Compton rides a clever race to keep Carr in third despite having Carr all over him for all four laps. Two Sheffield 4-2's and a 3-3 follow but then in heat 9 Compton comes from last to first making up god knows how much to take the win. Breathtaking and another Sheffield 4-2. Yes, you guessed it, a Sheffield 4-2 in heat 10 makes a 10 point lead and the bonus is in the bag.

Heat 11 sees the first Edinburgh tactical with McKinna in to partner Carr against Smith and Keats. Smith heads off in to the distance with McKinna a comfortable second. Keats rides perhaps the race of his life to keep the ever pressing Carr at the back and yet another 4-2. Compton makes up yet another country mile to take heat 12 but Palmer completes his nightmare evening by taking his 6th ride and finishing way last. Heat 13 pretty boring and oh yes, ANOTHER Sheffield 4-2 thanks to Stoney and Smith.

Keats chases Andersson and Carr in heat 14 and takes Andersson with an excellent pass for a 3-3 as Carr wins the race. Carr also takes heat 15 (on McKinna's bike!) but it's way too late and Sheffield take three points.

With the obvious exception of Palmer, all Sheffield boys ride well especially Compton and Keats. Until his last two rides, Peter Carr was very poor for a guy that was unbeatable at Owlerton not that long ago. McKinna had a steady run of second places and Andersson the odd flash but on the while the Scots performed badly for a team that looks good on paper.

So, Sheffield's good form continues although lets not forget that they have not ridden away in a while. Be a bit of a test at Newcastle on Sunday to see if they can repeat the league cup showing.

Report by Andy Machin.

Thursday 13th August , Premier League

SHEFFIELD 56                           EXETER 34
C.Stonehewer 3  3  3  3  3      15     F.Smart    2  3  3  2        10 
R.Larsen     rider replacement  (4+1)  G.Gordon   0  2' 2' 1' 0  2   7+3 
A.Compton    3  1  3  3         10     M.Simmonds 0  1' 0            1+1 
R.Aas        1  0  1  3          5     P.Jeffrey  2  2  2  1  2      9 
S.Smith      3  3  3  2' 1      12+1   M.Coles    2  1  2  0  1  0   6 
D.Keats      2' 2' 0  1  X  1    6+2   R.Lobb     1  0  0            1 
T.Palmer     1  3  1  0  1  2'   8+1   P.Oughton  0  0  0            0

Another excellent night of speedway at Owlerton with the boys putting on a great show and almost pulling off the bonus point too. Plenty of passing and good, close racing.

The now customary electric start from Sheffield saw them 10 up after the first four races with the highlight in heat 3 with Compton coming from another planet to win the race. At that point visions of the bonus point loomed large but then went away quickly as Exeter gained a 5-1 in heat 5 over Compton who could not repeat his earlier effort, and slow starting Aas However Stoney and Keats banged in a 5-1 in the next race to restore the 10 point lead. Keats having a terrific tussle with Michael Coles to boot.

Exeter, with T/S Smart gain another 5-1 in heat 8 to get to within 6 points and begin to look like they are going to make a fight of it but Compton produces another blinder in heat 9 with Aas third as Sheffield look to seal the meeting.

Another Sheffield 4-2 in heat 10 but then controversy in heat 11. First attempt to run the race sees all 4 back for a rerun as Smart elbows Keats out of the way before the first corner. Then in the rerun Smith grinds to a halt but then Keats dives under Smart on the fourth turn, without touching him, but Smart falls. Another rerun with Keats inexplicably excluded. Smith coasting round as the race is stopped but he makes the rerun and wins it comfortably.

Race of the night in heat 12. Compton wins easily after re-passing Jeffery but Palmer, Coles and Jeffrey involved in some hair raising action for second with Palmer taking it. Another 5-1 to Sheffield followed by another one in heat 13 to make it 48-30. Aas pops out to win heat 14 with Keats in third. Stoney completes his flawless maximum in heat 13 but Smith only makes up one place thus blowing his paid max.

So, another terrific showing from Sheffield. Stoney was untouchable and Smith continues to look good. Compton made some untrue passes dropping his only points in heat 5. Aas not in until his win but Derrol continues his rich form. Palmer looked lively but still hasn't learned that people will pass him easily by going wide. He dropped a few points by not riding an intelligent line.

Smart the best Exeter rider on show but pulled out after the rerun of heat 11 with an eye problem. Gordon and Jeffrey tried hard but Simmonds was an embarrassment as was Coles. Lobb and Oughton never had a chance.

Report by Andy Machin.

Thursday 6th August , Premier League

Sheffield 'STAR' Tigers 56                TC Harrison 'Vikings' 34
Stoney         3  3  2  2           10    Paul Thorp       2  3  3  3  3  2  16 
Robert Larsen  rider replacement    (7+2) John Wilson      0  1  0            1
Andre Compton  3  2  3  3  3        14    Alan Grahame     1  2  E  0         3
Rene Aas       2' 0  3  2' 2         9+2  Lee Dicken       0  1' 0  0         1+1
Scott Smith    1' 3  2  1'           7+2  Paul Bentley     0  1  1  0         2
Derrol Keats   2' 2' 0  1' 1'        6+4  Simon Cartwright 0  0  0            0
Tommy Palmer   1  3  2  2' 1' 1  0  10+2  Paul Lee         1  3  1  2  3  1' 11+1

Meeting had plenty of good racing and a big crowd must have gone home happy - Hull contingent excluded of course.

Heat 1 goes as expected then Derrol and Tommy score a convincing 5-1 over Lee and Cartwright. Heat 3 sees a marvellous team ride from Compton and Aas to shut out Grahame. Paul Lee wins Heat 4 thanks to Palmer blocking Smith on the second turn. Hull pull a couple back in heat 5 but then Keats makes an astounding dive under Bentley to join Stoney for a 5-1 in heat 6. Smith wins heat 7 but Keats trails in last. Heats 8 and 9 bring two more Sheffield 5-1's for a twenty point lead and it's goodnight Vienna. Oops, I mean Hull. T/S Thorp easily takes heat 10 but Grahame is way last. Thorp also wins heat 11 for another 3-3. Compton wins heat 12 after passing Lee and the meeting closes with two more 3-3 shared heats but Compton rides a blinder in Heat 15 to beat Thorpe in a classic race.

Every Sheffield rider played their part to the full with Compton rider of the night for Sheffield only dropping one point to Thorp in heat 5. Palmer looked much better at reserve even without Stoney to look after him and even Aas managed to pass somebody but can't recall who (Grahame I think - still in shock that he made a pass at all). [It was Paul Bentley, 4th bend, 1st lap, heat 9] Stoney went on to pass Thorp in the TC Harrison 'Shoot-Out' making the score 3-2 to Paul.

Thorp and Lee made sure Hull were not totally embarrassed but the rest were woeful indeed. Quite a surprise after their excellent showing in the recent 4TT leg. [Big Al's last 2 rides were on an upright GM which was SLOW, and he was substituted by Paul Lee in heat 12. Paul Bentley who went so well last night at New Craven Park was painful to watch being passed by Scott, Derrol and Rene in his first three rides.]

Just glad I was there. Exeter next week. Who say's we can't get the bonus. Only need to score 60 odd. Easy!!!!

Report by Andy Machin.

Thursday 30th July , Premier League

Sheffield 'Star' Tigers 55                Newcastle 'Debmat' Diamonds 35       
C.Stonehewer    2  3  2' 3  3      13+1   C.Watson        3  3  1  3  2  2   14
T.Palmer        1' 1' 1  2  3       8+2   J.Birkinshaw    0  0  1  2          3
A.Compton       rider replacement  (7)    B.Werner        2  2  ef 1  1       6
R.Aas           1  2  2  3  3      11     S.Swales        0  ef 0             0
S.Smith         3  3  3  2  1  0   12     J.Olsen         2  2  3  3  0  1'  11+1
P.Boast         2' 1  0  1          4+1   S.Jones         0  0  0             0
D.Keats         3  1  1' 0  2'      7+2   J.Swales        1  0  0             1
G.Furniss       dnr

Stoney only beaten by an abysmal start in heat 1, went on to equal his own track record in heat 6. Tommy looked much more confident and when he trapped in heat 10 Stoney pushed him around for the 5-1. Andre would have done better than the rider replacement score of 7 points against such poor opposition, but good luck to him in the U21 World Final in Poland. Rene improved as the grip moved very wide, inflicted the first defeat on Craig Watson in heat 9, and went from 3rd to 1st in just over 1 lap in heat 14. Scott was flying early on, just held out Jesper Olsen in heat 13, but couldn't hold off the double onslaught of Jesper and Craig in heat 15. Peter was much better than the Newcastle reserves, and Derrol recorded his first home win of the season, making the starts and looking fast and smooth (except for a little glitch in heat 9)

Watson was a superb choice of guest and was the pick of the Diamonds. Birkinshaw seems not to be making any progress, and Werner had a night to forget with machine problems. Stuart Swales never looked like scoring, neither did Steven Jones, and Jonathan Swales only point came at Jones' expense. Jesper Olsen worked hard for his points and was the most entertaining visitor.

Man of the Match: Once again it has to be that man Keats!

Thursday 23rd July , Premier League

Sheffield 'Star' Tigers 57                Glasgow 'QFM' Tigers 33 
C.Stonehewer 3  3  3  3  3         15     D.Andersson  1  1  2  1             5
T.Palmer     2' 0  3  2'            7+2   W.Beveridge  0  0  0  0             0
A.Grahame    2' 2' 2  3             9+2   M.Powell     1  2  1  1  2  0       7
R.Aas        3  3  1' 0             7+1   G.McDonald   rider replacement     (4+1)
S.Smith      3  3  3  2' 2'        13+2   D.Steen      2  2  1' 3  0  3  1   12+1
D.Keats      1  0  2' 1  2          6+1   S.Courtney   2' 1' 0  tx 1' 1       5+3
G.Furniss    fx 0  0                0     B.Turner     3  1' ef 0             4+1
                                          D.Stokes     dnr

Wow - Sheffield surpass all expectations and blow Glasgow away!! Still can't believe it because THEY DID IT FROM THE GATE. What, Sheffield riders gating? Yes, it's true because I was there.

I figured Sheffield would struggle with no Compton and a decidedly dodgey reserve pair against a Glasgow side with Powell and Steen who normally (especially Powell) go so well at Owlerton. How wrong could I be. Apart from poor Furniss each home rider more than played his part with rider of the night for me as Keats who rode some controlled but aggressive races.

Stoney and Palmer got a 5-1 in heat one and then there was no looking back. Stoney was untouchable but did go from third to first in one ride. Palmer continued on the upgrade and Scott Smith was as good as he has ever been however Aas still struggles if he doesn't make the start. Grahame was an excellent guest for Compton.

For Glasgow, only Steen made a fight of it. Powell a major let down and Andersson rode like a bloke with no interest at all. Very little passing although Palmer and Keats scored a remarkable 5-1 over Powell in heat 8. For once, Palmer scored his points by actually beating people rather than being gifted them.

OK, so on this performance Glasgow are a very poor side but Sheffield must be in with a good chance of making the top 8 with more home meetings than away meetings left.

Overall, an average meeting entertainment wise - but what a performance from those Tigers. And then to cap it all off I got second prize in the raffle and came home with a not bad(ish) team jacket. Wow.

Report by Andy Machin.

Monday 20th July , Premier League Cup semi-final

The final score was flattering to the Tigers in the end as guest Brent Werner rode immeasurably better than Scott Smith ever has done at Reading. The track was pretty good for about 7 heats then the baking hot day told and the track went slick which seemed to favour Sheffield as Keats, Compton and Palmer could get around without being passed. Reading were 29-13 up by heat 7 when Louis Carr threw in the double tactical which looked to have paid off as Werner linked with Aas. But Aas went far too fast into the top bend span and fell and that was the end of the fight back. Stoney took the only point off Petri in heat 12 after he was losing in the original running when Keats plopped it big time into the third bend fence. Lee Richardson continues to warm up well for the World U-21.....

Reading 56 - 101                         Sheffield 34 - 79
D Mullett     3  2  3  2' 2'    12+2     C Stonehewer  2  2  3  3  1  1  12
K Marsh       1  1  1' 2  0      5+1     T Palmer      r  0  1            1
P Kokko       3  3  3  2        11       A Compton     0  0  1'           1+1
P Morris      rider replacement (5)      R Aas         2  1  fx 2  2      7
L Richardson  3  3  2  3  3  3  17       B Werner      2  3  3  2  0  0  10
J Elkins      3  1  2' 0  ef     6+1     D Keats       1  f  1' fx        2+1
P Clews       2' 1  1' 0  1'     5+3     P Boast       fx 0  1'           1+1

Dave Mullet was excellent - particularly good fighting off Stoney around the outside in heat 1. Superb heat 15 team ride with Lee when he locked down Stoney around the first turn then held a terrific inside line against the ever trying away rider. Krister was solid until his last ride, perhaps has returned too early following his recent injury. Petri was still a bit green after his bout of sickness, but rode like a trooper with a splendid outside pass on Aas in heat 3, and fine ride to thwart Stoney's outside move in heat 5. Lee was fantastic, beaten only after he had the worlds worst gate in heat 11 and even then he nearly made up the ground lost to Stoney. Gained revenge by beating the Sheffield star in 5-1's in both heats 13 and 15. Justin was one of the Racers who went right off the boil when the track went slick and suffered YET ANOTHER ef! Paul was another Racer not so happy in the slick but a fine match and always looking for the pass.

Stoney looked much better when the track went slick. Was well beaten by Mullett/ Richardson in heat 13 before making a real race of it against the same pair team riding in heat 15. That really was a splendid race and it was another great display by Carl despite lacking the authority he had with Long Eaton last season. Tommy was absolutely miles behind in his first, crap in his second and managed to hold out Elkins in heat 11. A shadow of his best. Andre was astonishingly poor. Looked all at seas early on when there was grip on the outside. Point came at Marsh's expense in heat 10. World U-21 finalist??? Rene was pretty impressive. Rode a nice tidy - always inside - line and benefited when the grip went on the outside. Gated well - tried hard - good stuff. Brent, as with Newcastle, was impressive early on then couldn't stay with the big heat leaders. Quality guest display though and more than Smith would have got. To be honest I expected Derrol to be rubbish but he wasn't! His first fall came when he went into the corner about 3 years too early and Marsh thundered under him. Massive fall in heat 12 where Clews took magnificent avoiding action riding over his machine! OK I have to admit that Larsen would've been a lot better than Boastie who scored his point when he was this weeks beneficiary of J Elkins ef!!!

Report by Nick Dyer.

Thursday 16th July , Premier League Cup semi-final

Sheffield 45                        Reading 45
C Stonehewer  2  3  2  3  2  12     D Mullett    3  E  2X 2            5 
T Palmer      1' 2' 3  1' X   7+3   D Meldrum    0  0  3  1' 1  X      5+1
A Compton     1' 1' 3  1      6+2   P Kokko      3  3  3  3  1        13
R Aas         2  2  0  2      6     P Morris     rider replacement    (4)
S Smith       2  2  3  1      8     L Richardson na na 2  E  3  3      8
D Keats       1' E  2' 0  1'  4+3   J Elkins     3  3  E  2  1' 2' 0  11+2
R Larsen      2  0  X         2     P Clews      0  1  1  1  0  0      3

A reasonably entertaining meeting with its fair share of close races but Sheffield never had the firepower to match Reading's heat leaders. Mullett had a nightmare and Richardson didn't arrive until heat 9 but a shock Meldrum win in heat 5 and a remarkable showing from Justin Elkins (when was the last time he won two races in the same meeting?) made up for it.

Sheffield were solid down the line with Palmer showing up better then usual and looking determined. Race of the night was Compton v Richardson in heat 9 who were locked together for all four laps.

This result will certainly be good enough to see Reading through but once again exposes the Tigers vulnerability against top heavy opposition. Stoney apart there is nobody who can consistently beat the opposition big guns although Compton gives a good showing. Also, Sheffield's gating was it's inconsistent best which never helps.

New face Larsen injured in his third ride so headaches at reserve already. Glyn Taylor seen practicing after the meeting. What price him appearing in a Sheffield body colour in the not too distant future.

Report by Andy Machin.

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