Top stars line up at Owlerton, Sheffield

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SHEFFIELD stage the prestigious British Championship semi-final tonight with a stellar field taking to the Owlerton track (7.45).

It isn’t the first time Sheffield has held the meeting but this year’s field is perhaps the strongest it has ever been, and there is plenty of local interest for the fans.

Tigers captain Richard Hall will have the support of the home fans while ex-Sheffield number one Ricky Ashworth will be in action, as will another former Tiger Lee Complin.

The bill is topped by Great Britain World Cup star Tai Woffinden, who lives in the city, and Elite League star Lewis Bridger.

With such a high quality lineup, Sheffield owner Neil Machin believes there is a cracking meeting in store.

He said: “The top seven riders go through and well, pick your top seven. Obviously the Elite League boys will be favourites but it isn’t clean cut at all. Tai Woffinden, for example, will only have two meetings under his belt since a long injury lay-off and it isn’t an easy track to ride.

“There are some very good Premier League riders tonight, the likes of Ricky Ashworth, Adam Roynon, Ben Barker, and they could well prove to be spoilers.

“There are some track experts in amongst the field so it will be a very intriguing meeting.

“It’ll probably be around seven or eight points required to qualify for the final and I predict that some of the pre-meeting favourites may struggle with that purely because it is such a high quality field.”

There has been some confusion in the build-up to the meeting, however, with Swindon now saying they will have Simon Stead in their side for their Elite League clash with Lakeside instead of riding at Sheffield.

Line-up: Richard Hall (Sheffield), Ben Barker (Plymouth), David Howe (Scunthorpe), Oliver Allen (Peterborough), Lee Complin (Berwick), Tai Woffinden (Wolverhampton), Derek Sneddon (Edinburgh), Kyle Howarth (Workington), TBC, Adam Roynon (Workington), Ricky Ashworth (Berwick), Chris Mills (Glasgow), Andrew Tully (Edinburgh), James Wright (Somerset), Lewis Bridger (Eastbourne), Richard Lawson (Workington).