JOSH Auty admitted he was shocked when he got the call to tell him he had been handed a place in next month’s British Final.
And the Tigers youngster says he is determined to grab the opportunity with both hands after gaining a reprieve for the showpiece event at Wolverhampton on Monday, June 6.
Auty was unlucky in the Owlerton staging of the semi-final last week when mechanical gremlins let him down, but now he has a second chance on the big stage.
He said: “I know the decision to hand me a wild card will raise a few eyebrows but I’m just delighted with the news. I didn’t expect to get this chance so I was quite shocked. I’m determined to put on a good show.
“People like Chris Harris, Scott Nicholls, Eddie Kennett and Danny King will be the ones everyone tips to do well but I’m determined to score a few points and surprise a few people.
“I was unlucky at Sheffield and I was absolutely devastated when I missed the cut because of my chain issues. I’m just delighted that my misfortune has been recognised and I now have the chance to ride in the final because I think I deserve to be there.
“There is no doubt in my mind I would have qualified easily but for me shedding a chain at Sheffield, so this makes up for that disappointment.
Meanwhile, Ricky Ashworth has admitted his qualification for final was hard work.
Ashworth, Sheffield’s number one rider, just made the cut at Owlerton with nine points.
But he was involved in some hair raising races and was pleased to come through unscathed after a tough battle with some of the best riders the country has to offer.
He said: “It was hard work and it felt like every point had to be fought for.
“It also felt like I was almost wiped out in every race but we got the job done and made it through which is all that matters.
“Now I hope I can go to the final and do myself justice. I’ve ridden the Wolverhampton track before when I’ve ridden in the Elite League doubling-up so I know what to expect and it’s going to be a massive night.
“I won’t be strongly fancied but I feel I can go there and cause an upset or two.”
There’s a double-header at Owlerton tomorrow when the joint Sheffield and Scunthorpe National League team take on Stoke, including Tigers reserve Simon Lambert, and Buxton.
Fans should note the earlier start time of 7pm with 30 races to be staged before the 10pm curfew.