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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Workington Comets tame Sheffield Tigers

Sheffield Tigers 46 Workington Comets 46: Workington Comes produced one of their best away performances of the season to earn an extra point at Sheffield.

The patched-up Comets – with a guest Simon Lambert at number two; without their other second string Richard Lawson and with reserve Craig Cook feeling his way back after a weakening virus – did admirably.

Ten points adrift after only three races the Workington side dug deep to get themselves back into the match and remarkably, after that early blitz,

Sheffield did not manage another heat advantage.

Former Sheffield star Andre Compton was magnificent on his old track, racing to three wins and a tactical ride second in his six appearances.

Fellow heat leader Adrian Rymel also carried the torch well for the Comets, as he won three races.

In fact a Workington rider won nine of the 15 heats as Kevin Doolan (twice) and guest Lambert (once) were both successful.

Five successive shared heats had set-up a last heat decider when the match could have gone any way.

The Tigers led by two, so Workington had already pocketed the bonus point.

It was still there for a Workington victory, or a draw, although Sheffield

would have fancied their chances of at least a 3-3 to win the match.

It proved a fantastic race as Rymel beat Ricky Ashworth by half a bike’s length after a fantastic duel all the way. It then depended on who won the battle for third as to the outcome and Compton managed to get round Richard Hall on the second bend of the last lap and just held him off.

Workington team manager Ian Thomas said: “Under the circumstances it was a remarkable effort. We are the first team to take a point at Sheffield this season, which in itself was terrific.

“On a night when we had regulars missing and Cookie coming back from a virus, everyone did a bit and I was absolutely delighted.

“It looked pretty ominous early on but the lads all battled hard with Andre and Adrian, in particular, doing exceptionally well.”

It had started so badly for the Comets as number one Doolan was last in the opener as guest Lambert took Workington’s point in an easy 5-1 for the Tigers.

Although Cook made an electric start in the reserves race he was unable to maintain the momentum and actually finished last with John Branney grabbing the Comets’ point in a second successive 5-1 to the Tigers.

It got marginally better in heat three when Rymel took second place behind Hal but at 14-4 the storm clouds were gathering.

Compton gave the Comets heart by winning a shared heat four and from that point Workington gradually got back into the match.

Ian Thomas put-out Compton as a tactical ride in heat six and he had a terrific battle with Ashworth, with the lead changing hands couple of times, before having to settle for a four-point second in another shared heat.

Still ten points behind, though, Workington had their first heat advantage in the seventh race Rymel raced away from Josh Auty and Lambert grabbed third place from former Comet’ rider Scott Smith.

It got better as Lambert won heat eight from Branney and the 5-1 cut the deficit to just four.

That was down to two after heat nine which was won easily by Compton with Cook gaining his one point of the night in third, but in the great scheme of things could be seen as the point that earned Workington the draw.

The next five heats were shared, setting-up a last race decider and a 4-2 from Rymel and Compton ensured Workington were bringing home an extra point.

Sheffield Tigers 46

1. Ricky Ashworth...2* 3 3 3 2 = 13+1

2. Chris Mills...3 1 0 0 = 4

3. Joel Parsons...1 2 0 = 3

4. Richard Hall...3 1* 2 2 0 = 8+1

5. Josh Auty...1* 2 2 = 5+1

6. Scott Smith...3 0 1*2 1* = 7+2

7. Hugh Skidmore...2* 2 1 1* = 6+2

Workington Comets 46

1. Kevin Doolan...0 3 3 1* = 7+1

2. Simon Lambert (g)...1 0 1 3 0 = 5

3. Adrian Rymel...2 3 2 3 3 = 13

4. R/R

5. Andre Compton...3 4! 3 2 3 1 = 16

6. Craig Cook...0 0 1 = 1

7. John Branney...1 0 0 2* 1* = 4+2

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