Monday April 04, 2022
WOLVERHAMPTON were edged out by Sheffield in their Premiership League Cup opener on Monday.

The Parrys International Wolves narrowly missed out 46-44 against the side being strongly tipped by many for honours this season.

No more than four points ever separated the two sides in a tense affair, but it was the visitors who prevailed to add another away win to their chart at the top of the Northern Group.

Sheffield’s No.1 Jack Holder got his nose out in front in the opener, but the home duo of Luke Becker and Sam Masters both executed smart passing moves up the inside of the new Grand Prix star on the opening lap.

Winter signing Drew Kemp was in the thick of the action in the battle of the reserves, but he narrowly missed out on the run to the line after switching to the outside on the final two bends as Sheffield clawed a couple of points back.

The visitors looked set to take the lead in Heat Three, but an error from former Wolf Kyle Howarth on bend four of lap one allowed both Nick Morris and Ryan Douglas through for the hosts to salvage a shared race.

Youngster Leon Flint made a determined start to the fourth but was eventually rounded by reigning British Champion Adam Ellis on the entrance to the final lap as Sheffield recorded a second 4-2 to pull level.

Morris took the chequered flag in the fifth before Masters and Becker bagged their second maximum of the night in Heat Six. But the former Wolves duo of Tobiasz Musielak and Howarth pulled off what they threatened in Heat Three and achieved a 5-1 of their own to again level the scores.

Sheffield took the lead for the first time in Heat Eight as they turned a 4-2 against in their favour with 2017 British Champion Craig Cook blasting around Becker on bend four, lap one before Connor Mountain was able to get by Flint late on who lost his steel shoe.

A 4-2 led by a first win of the night for Ryan Douglas tied the scores at 27-27 before Musielak and Howarth struck another 5-1 to open up a four-point lead for the visitors.

Sheffield would’ve fancied their chances of extending that in Heat 11, but Steve Worrall had other ideas as he kept Holder and Cook at bay to claim his first competitive win in Wolves colours.

After tangling with Nielsen in the original staging, Morris picked himself up from the dirt to secure his second win and end Musielak’s unbeaten night in the process in Heat 12.

With things on a knife-edge though it was Ellis for the visitors who came up with two big rides late on; firstly winning Heat 13 before splitting Douglas and Morris in Heat 15 just as a ‘superheat’ decider looked on the cards.

Parrys International Wolves’ top scorer Ryan Douglas said: “It just wasn’t to be tonight.

“Sheffield are probably the strongest team on paper and they’ve got a strong side but on another night we could’ve won.

“Obviously we’re disappointed but it’s still early days and a few more meetings around here will iron out any mistakes.

“We’re only going to get better and we’ll become a much tougher team to beat.”

Wolves head to Sheffield on Thursday, April 14 (7.30) for the return with the next action at Monmore on Bank Holiday Monday (April 18, 8pm) with Belle Vue the visitors.

WOLVERHAMPTON 44: Ryan Douglas 10+1, Nick Morris 10, Sam Masters 8+1, Luke Becker 7+1, Steve Worrall 4, Leon Flint 3, Drew Kemp 2.

SHEFFIELD 46: Adam Ellis 11, Tobiasz Musielak 10+1, Kyle Howarth 7+1, Jack Holder 6, Craig Cook 5+2, Connor Mountain 4+1, Stefan Nielsen 3.

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