Sheffield Pirtek Tigers kept up their challenge at the top of the Premier League table with a hard fought 53-42 win over Workington at Owlerton on Thursday night.

The major talking point was an on-track brawl after Ricky Ashworth was almost dumped in the second turn safety fence by Workington's Tomasz Piszcz.

Ashworth made his feelings clear after the race, when he squared up to the Pole and the two came to blows.
Ashworth received the maximum punishable fine - ?250 - from referee Dave Dowling, despite protestations from Tigers team manager Reg Wilson.

Tigers did enouugh to earn an 11-point advantage to take to Derwent Park on Saturday when the sides clash again.
Sheffield began well with two 5-1s in the first three heats, but a maximum fromn James Wright and Paul Thorp whittled the score back to 20-16 after four races.

That's the way it stayed until a frightening spill by Comets' Garry Stead in heat 9, when he fell on the first bend of the second lap with Tigers' Emiliano Sanchez miraculously managing to avoid causing serious injury when he laid his bike down in a split-second. The race was awarded as a 5-1 to the hosts and it gave them breathing space while a 4-2 from Ben Wilson and Ashworth in the next race put Sheffield 35-25 up.

The Cumbrians did their best to stay in the hunt, especially when Piszcz - despite the boos from the terraces - won a six-point tactical ride in heat 14, but a 5-1 from Andre Comopton and Wilson in the finale gave them an eventual 11-point winning margin.

Compton was again untouchable, with a five-ride maximum while Ashworth's misery was compounded by an engine failure in his last ride as he ended with just paid six points.



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