Birks relishes Roses semi showdown

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SHEFFIELD reserve Ashley Birks is desperate to add National League success to a positive campaign in Tigers colours.

The 20-year-old is one of the key men in the joint Sheffied/Scunthorpe third tier set-up, who face a crucial play-off semi-final second leg against Belle Vue at Owlerton on Thursday.

The Colts, who include National League Riders’ Champion Jason Garrity and fellow teenage hotshot Kyle Howarth, hold a five point advantage from the first leg – but Birks believes that can be overturned.

He said: “I really enjoy winning races in the National League, and there’s no doubt it’s helped me to take the confidence from that into my meetings with Sheffield.

“The National League has definitely worked for me, and we’re all so keen to reach the Final and hopefully take the title.

“It’s been great to be a part of a combined Sheffield and Scunthorpe team - I love racing at both of those tracks.”

Tigers owner Neil Machin, meanwhile, is urging fans to turn out in force to see the rising stars on show for both sides in what is effectively a Roses showdown, with the winners to face Mildenhall in the Final.

Machin said: “Our team manager Stuart Parnaby has done a great job with the youngsters, and many of them have made rapid progress during the year.”