Sparkling form can drive Sheffield speedway ace tonight

Kyle Howarth
Kyle Howarth
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Tigers’ chief Damien Bates is backing his captain for a top three spot in tonight’s British Semi-Final at Owlerton.

Kyle Howarth has been in fine form this season and is fancied for one of the eight places available for the British Final at Belle Vue next month.

Other Sheffield riders Josh Bates and Rob Branford are included in the line-up with Bates battling back from illness to race.

In-form Craig Cook, who will be one of the favourites for the national crown should he get there, is also backed for success by Bates along with former Grand Prix man Chris Harris. He said: “I’m looking forward to this meeting; it will provide some great entertainment. I’m sure Kyle can finish on the rostrum. He’s riding nicely for us but he’s also doing well in the Premiership at Wolves. I believe the top three will be Cook, Harris and Howarth but I don’t know which order they’ll finish!

“It’s such a good line-up and I think we will see some great competition because the lads are desperate to make it through to the final.”

Bates revealed how his nephew Josh has been struggling with illness. “He’s not been well and missed a meeting for Leicester - anyone who knows Josh will tell you he hates missing meetings,” said Bates. But he should be right for tonight and he’ll be pushing hard for a top eight finish. He knows a place in the British Final is a great achievement and with it being on live TV it’s great exposure.

“Rob Branford is our other rider and he will find it tough out there but he always gives it his best and he will have the backing of the Sheffield fans. If he can get to seven or eight points he might just make it to Belle Vue.”

The meeting is a straight 20-heat format with each rider having five outings each to try and make the top eight.

LINE-UP: Lewis Bridger (Berwick), Josh Auty (Scunthorpe), Edward Kennett (Rye House), Carl Wilkinson (Scunthorpe), Chris Harris (Rye House), Adam Roynon (Workington), Scott Nicholls (Rye House), Stuart Robson (Rye House), Lewis Kerr (Scunthorpe), Craig Cook (Belle Vue & Workington), Stefan Nielsen (Scunthorpe), Adam Ellis (Swindon), Simon Lambert (Peterborough), Rob Branford (Rye House & Sheffield), Josh Bates (Leicester & Sheffield), Kyle Howarth (Wolverhampton & Sheffield)