TIGERS youngster Joe Haines heads into tonight’s Owlerton showdown with bitter rivals Scunthorpe as the newly crowned British Under 21 Champion.
Haines won a sensational final showdown with Dudley Heathens rider Tom Perry at Wolverhampton after scoring 11 points in the qualifiers.
It’s a remarkable turnaround for the Bolton-based rider who suffered career threatening injuries in Australia only 16 months ago.
He said: “It was so hard, I didn’t really feel fast all night but I came through at the end. From where I’ve come from in the last two years, from the hospital bed to this, I’m over the moon.
“In the semi-final I missed the start by a mile, I was out of it and thought that was it, but luckily I had a bit of fortune which was like when I won it in 2010. Then in the Final I was lucky to be on gate 4, and it worked in my favour.
“I’d like to thank Ty Proctor, my Dad and all my team around me. It was a real team effort, and thanks to everyone who has helped me out heaps this year.”
His victory comes at a time when Tigers colleague Josef Franc is also celebrating the news that he’s been called up as wildcard for the Czech Republic Grand Prix in Prague next month.
Boss David Hoggart is looking for some consistency from his side going into tonight’s meeting.
He said: “Our season has been broken up so far by rain-offs and injuries and it has been frustrating. We haven’t ridden at home for a while so we want to get a result now. We need to find some consistency.”