Speedway: Sheffield Tigers ready to dig claws in again

Sheffield Tigers' Damien Bates
Sheffield Tigers' Damien Bates
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Sheffield co-owner Damien Bates says Monday’s League Cup win at Scunthorpe was sweeter because it was against their deadly rivals.

Tigers completed the double which makes them firm favourites for a place in the semi-finals thanks to an unbeaten record from three matches.

Bates said: “I’m proud of all the lads, I was delighted with the result especially because it was Scunthorpe and everyone knows the rivalry which exists between the two clubs. It was also sweet because of what they did to us last year, they made a habit out of beating us and it’s pay-back time!

“It was a great team effort and the way the lads work together is great to see, it’s early days in the season and there are a lot of quality teams in the Premier League, but it’s a good start. It’s nice to be in such a strong position in the League Cup now, we aren’t mathematically through just yet but we’re favourites.

“What pleased us about Monday was that the best rider in the league, Simon Stead, wasn’t at the top of our scoring but everyone chipped in. That shows we aren’t going to be relying on Simon all the time which is great.” Sheffield now prepare to launch their Premier League programme against Plymouth at Owlerton tomorrow – and Bates insists they are taking nothing for granted. Our manager, Jack Lee, will be telling the boys they cannot be over confident,” he said.

“It’s important for us to make a winning start to the league campaign.

“They’ve got riders who will enjoy the wide open spaces of Owlerton like American World Cup star Ryan Fisher and young Jack Holder, the brother of former World Champion Chris.

“So it could be a very good meeting but we are confident and that can be worth a few extra points, the lads are raring to go. I think they’d race every day if they could!”