Thursday October 06, 2022
WOLVERHAMPTON’S league season came to an inglorious end as they were outgunned 61-29 at Sheffield in the play-off semi-finals.

Trailing by four points from Monday’s first leg at Monmore, the Parrys International Wolves always needed a big performance and for things to go their way in the return.

But what transpired at Owlerton was a dominant victory for the Tigers, consigning Wolves to defeat at this stage for the third successive season – having lost to the eventual champions in both 2019 and 2021.

Sam Masters did put a race win on the board in the first heat, but such successes were few and far between, and the next three races saw the home side quickly extend their advantage.

Tigers duo Justin Sedgmen and Connor Mountain quickly went clear of Drew Kemp and Leon Flint in Heat 2, and Kyle Howarth and Adam Ellis combined to squeeze out Ryan Douglas after a close first lap in the next.

Steve Worrall won Heat 5 but to sum up Wolves’ fortunes, skipper Masters was left at the back, and Worrall then took an awkward fall on the fourth bend in Heat 8 with both Mountain and Lewis Kerr passing Flint in the re-run for another 5-1 to the hosts.

Then Nick Morris touched the tapes in Heat 9 as things went from bad to worse for Wolves, with Ellis and Howarth rapidly clearing Flint, who did make another good start, in the re-run.

And the tie was officially put beyond Wolves as early as Heat 10 when Kerr and Jack Holder both moved inside Douglas on the first lap to complete a hat-trick of maximum advantages.

Masters, who has battled on with injury all summer, was caught out by conditions in Heat 11 and lost third place to Sedgmen, although he rode with great determination to see off the challenge of Holder in Heat 13.

But the Grand Prix man took the flag over Douglas in Heat 15 to see his side through the 60-point barrier on the night and on to the Grand Final against Belle Vue next week.

Said Masters: “That was pretty embarrassing with the scoreline over the two legs.

“Sheffield were, obviously, the better team and we’ve lost to a really good team.

“I’m not going to stand here and make any excuses, we lost to a good team and that’s that, we’re gutted.”

Wolves have one more meeting to complete the campaign, with the Ladbrokes Olympique Finale taking place at Monmore on Monday October 17.

SHEFFIELD 61: Jack Holder 11+2, Lewis Kerr 9+2, Adam Ellis 9+2, Kyle Howarth 9+1, Connor Mountain 8+1, Tobiasz Musielak 8+1, Justin Sedgmen 7.
WOLVERHAMPTON 29: Ryan Douglas 7+1, Sam Masters 6, Steve Worrall 5, Luke Becker 4, Drew Kemp 3+1, Nick Morris 2, Leon Flint 2.
Sheffield win 108-72 on aggregate.

Photo Credit: PHIL McGLYNN

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