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Sarjeant roars on Tigers to level top

By on August 4, 2015

Super James Sarjeant helped Glasgow Tigers go level with their biggest rivals at the top of the Premier League last night, writes Bryan Copland.

The 21-year-old Englishman returned to his early-season form to go unbeaten in three of his five races as the Tigers beat Plymouth 52-41.

It was a strong performance throughout the team as six of the seven home riders took heat wins, only new reserve Hynek Stichauer missing out on the honours.

Kauko Nieminen, the other new man in the side, scored 7+1 – playing his part in two 5-1s early in the match.

The win, and the three points, takes Glasgow onto 43 – the same as Edinburgh Monarchs, who have matches in hand.

Tigers co-promoter Colin Hamilton said: “We’re very pleased with the whole team tonight. Richard Lawson led from the start and put in his usual sterling performance.

“James Sarjeant, after a debatable exclusion in the first heat, did enough to get heat 15 at the end.

“It’s nice to see a smile on James’ face, because it’s his first season in the Premier League, and he had a great start. He just had a wee dip, and was a wee bit unlucky with some decisions as well but tonight is hopefully a big turning point again for him to get back on form. There was a big smile on his face, it’s good to see.

“Kauko had a fantastic pass that had the crowd on their feet and there were some really good positives. He looks as if he’s going to be value for money and I think he’ll become a favourite with the fans again, like he was last time in 2006.

“It’s given the team a boost as well – hopefully as the play-offs approach, everybody will be able to focus and become really strong at the right time with Kauko in the team.

“With Hynek, there was plenty of effort there and he wasn’t too far out. We’ll work with him to make sure that he’s firing on Thursday night at Redcar.

“The track was riding well and under floodlights, with a nice clear night, it was good to see us having a night meeting. The fans thoroughly enjoyed it as well as the riders.”

The Tigers stretched out into a sizeable lead in the opening stages and by heat eight, they were 30-18 ahead.

Heat nine, however, threatened to turn the meeting on its head as the Devils raced to an 8-1 when Ryan Fisher took on the tactical double and was joined for the maximum by Sam Simota. That put the visitors back to within five of their hosts.

But the Tigers stood firm, hitting back immediately with their own 5-1 in the race of the night as guest Richie Worrall battled from the back to join Sarjeant at the front. Glasgow riders went on to win four of the final five heats for a 52-41 win.

The Tigers now head to Redcar on Thursday night in another crucial away fixture.

Tigers scorers: Richard Lawson 14, Victor Palovaara 8+1, Aaron Summers 8, James Sarjeant 7+2, Kauko Nieminen 7+1, Richie Worrall (guest) 7, Hynek Stichauer 1.

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