Speedway: Owlerton primed for big race hosting duty

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British Speedway chairman Alex Harkess has described Sunday’s Premier League Riders’ Championship as one of the biggest meetings on the domestic calendar.

The best riders from every club will do battle at Owlerton with a massive crowd expected as fans travel to the city from all over the UK.

Harkess has pointed to the event a decade ago when current Tigers skipper Simon Stead – who was riding for Workington – lost the title on a refereeing decision to Sheffield rider Andre Compton.

Both riders were favourites for the title but they ended up crashing into the fence at high speed in a horrifying spill in the Grand Final – and Stead was deemed to be the cause of the stoppage.

Said Harkess: “Whilst I wouldn’t want it to be decided in that fashion on Sunday, I’m sure the action will be equally fast and furious, the Owlerton track certainly serves up some high speed drama.

“This meeting is, without doubt, one of the biggest on the domestic calendar and I’m very much looking forward to it.

“I’ve been hearing consistently good reports about the Sheffield track in recent weeks with Graham Trollope and his team - including the legendary Eric Boocock I hear - doing a super job to provide a top class racing strip.

“And every time the Premier League Riders’ Championship goes to Owlerton it serves to underline what a fantastic facility it is with the investment and effort of the stadium landlords, A&S Leisure.

“The Tigers have missed out on the top six - mainly due to injuries.

“It’s been a tough first season in charge for Damien Bates and Peter Mole along with their managerial colleagues and I’m sure it’s also been a steep learning curve. I wish them well for next season having laid some solid foundations throughout 2014.”

Tigers will be represented by Stead on Sunday and he’s been in blistering form on his own track.

Admission is £20 adults, £15 concessions, Juniors £5 and under 11s free. It features 22 races and starts at 5pm.