Sheffield Tigers speedway ace has his eyes on the final

Josh Bates , Sheffield Tigers 2016
Josh Bates , Sheffield Tigers 2016
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Local hero Josh Bates is relishing the biggest meeting in Sheffield’s season tonight (7.30).

Tigers will take on Glasgow in their first Premier League Play-Off Semi-Final since 2010.

Barnsley boy Bates is desperate to help his side build up a healthy lead to take to Ashfield on Sunday as they eye a spot in the Grand Final.

After bagging a paid 16pt haul at Glasgow on a guest appearance for Somerset on Sunday, the two-time British U21 Champion is keen for more in a Sheffield race jacket.

“It’s a massive meeting for us and I’m looking forward to it,” said Bates. “We’ve worked hard to make it to the semi-finals, and we’re going to try and make the most of it. It’s not going to be easy against a team as strong as Glasgow, especially when we have so many injuries, but we’ll give it everything we’ve got.

“I think we should be able to win at home on Thursday, but we could do with getting a lead of about 10 points to take to the away meeting.

“Glasgow isn’t an easy place to go, but I went well there on Sunday and scored 16 points guesting against them so hopefully I can do that again.

“If I can win races and do my job then it will help the team, but we’ll need everyone to be at their best over both legs to win it.

“We’re probably the underdogs, but we don’t mind that, we were underdogs in the quarter-finals but here we are.

“Whatever happens I think we’ve done ourselves proud to get to the semi-finals with all the injuries we have, although getting to the final would be even better.”

Sheffield have drafted in former Owlerton favourites Ricky Wells and Josh Auty to guest for injured duo Jason Garrity and Dimitri Berge, whilst rider replacement covers for skipper Simon Stead at No.4.

Glasgow will be at full strength and are led by powerhouse top four Richie Worrall, Richard Lawson, Aaron Summers and Rene Bach.

SHEFFIELD: Ricky Wells, Josh Auty, Josh Bates, Simon Stead R/R, Kyle Howarth, Arthur Sissis, Nathan Greaves.

GLASGOW: Richie Worrall, Nike Lunna, Aaron Summers, Rene Bach, Richard Lawson, Fernando Garcia, Danny Ayres.