Speedway: Josh Bates comes out on top in British under 21 final

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Barnsley boy Josh Bates stormed to a stunning win in last night’s British Under-21 Final at Owlerton.

The Tigers racer added yet another major individual title to his name after winning the Under-21’s previously in 2014 as well as winning the British Under-19 Championship last season.

Bates won three of his opening four races, but a crash in his final programmed ride meant he would have to go through the hard slog of the semi-finals after finishing on 11-points behind Robert Lambert and Adam Ellis.

He made a lightning gate to get the better of his opponents as fellow local youngster Jack Parkinson-Blackburn also qualified for the final.

All expectation was on Lambert who had won all of his previous rides, but Bates made the most of his home track advantage and won the battle in the first two bends.

It was a ride that sent the Owlerton crowd wild as Bates clinched the title for a second time.

Said Bates: “I feel so emotional after winning it for a second time! The first time was special, but this means so much more because I’ve done it at my home track when there was a lot of pressure and expectation on me.

“All of my friends, family and sponsors were here and the Sheffield fans were amazing. This is another great moment for me and my career - now bring on the rest of the season!”

Fellow Tigers team-mate Nathan Greaves enjoyed an encouraging night too as he achieved a semi-final finish.

BRITISH UNDER-21 FINAL, at Sheffield

1. Josh Bates

2. Robert Lambert

3. Adam Ellis

4. Jack Parkinson-Blackburn

Qualifying scores: Robert Lambert 15, Adam Ellis 13, Josh Bates 11, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn 11, Max Clegg 11, Nathan Greaves 9, Zac Wajtknecht 9, Oliver Greenwood 8, James Shanes 7, Jack Smith 6, Danyon Hume 5, Danny Phillips 4, Ellis Perks 4, Josh Bailey 3, Danno Verge 2, Alfie Bowtell 1, Liam Carr 1 (reserve), Ben Basford 0 (reserve)