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Wolves suffer a last-gasp defeat

Wolverhampton suffered the agony of another narrow 46-44 defeat on the road – conceding a last-heat 5-1 to just miss out at Sheffield.

IMAGE Charlotte Flanigan
IMAGE Charlotte Flanigan

Just as in their trip to Ipswich a fortnight ago, the home side rescued victory right at the end, with the Parrys International Wolves hampered this time by Nick Morris touching the tapes in the decider.

They still took a league point away from Owlerton, which in the big picture keeps them very much on track for the play-offs, but it could have been so much more against the title favourites.

Early indications suggested a close contest even though Wolves skipper Sam Masters most unusually failed to score from his first two rides.

But his regular race partner Steve Worrall picked up the slack with wins in heats one and five, and the visitors took the lead for the first time with a strong 5-1 from Ryan Douglas and Luke Becker in heat three.

Leon Flint battled hard to hold back the challenge of British Champion Adam Ellis in heat four before the Sheffield man came through, and three of the next four races were shared as the Tigers edged back ahead with Jack Holder swooping past Morris in heat six.

Worrall made it a hat-trick of wins in heat eight with Flint unlucky to lose out to Connor Mountain and Craig Cook as Wolves looked set to take an advantage, but it was the hosts who went four-up when Tobiasz Musielak completed a spectacular pass on Morris in heat nine.

But Wolves came charging back, again thanks to the Becker/Douglas combination, who took maximum points over Cook and Holder in heat 10, taking them into the final five races all square at 30-30.

The next two races were shared with Ellis just getting the better of Masters in heat 11, while Becker and Flint salvaged a 3-3 behind Musielak in heat 12.

And then Wolves edged ahead once more in heat 13 with a flying start from Morris to win, while Masters split Holder and Ellis as he took third place.

Douglas held off Howarth to take Wolves into heat 15 with a two-point lead, but disaster struck at the start of the decider as Morris touched the tapes and was disqualified.

Boss Peter Adams elected to track reserve Flint in his place, meaning Worrall retained his gate position, but Tigers duo Holder and Ellis hit the front and did enough to keep the Wolves man in third place as the visitors suffered the cruellest of defeats.

Sheffield 46: Adam Ellis 11+1, Jack Holder 9+1, Tobiasz Musielak 7+1, Kyle Howarth 6, Connor Mountain 5+1, Craig Cook 5+1, Stefan Nielsen 3.

Wolverhampton 44: Steve Worrall 11+1, Ryan Douglas 9+2, Luke Becker 9+1, Nick Morris 7, Leon Flint 5+1, Sam Masters 3, Drew Kemp 0.

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