Howarth put on a fine show at Belle Vue’s National Speedway Stadium to reach the semi-finals in a meeting won by Under-21 sensation Robert Lambert.
The result has boosted confidence ahead of tomorrow’s Owlerton clash with league leaders Berwick.
Howarth kept his cool to win his last qualifying race on 10-points but was edged out in the semi-finals.
And he said: “Every heat I had was such a hard race. It was probably the biggest night of my career.
“I had last pick in the semi and I ended up with gate four which was always going to be a task.
“It was a shame to do all the hard work, get to that semi and then get knocked out. But all-in-all it was a great night.
“It was some nice progress for me, it’s a stepping stone, I’ve done myself proud and I can keep my head held high.”
Sheffield’s Jack Smith also had two outings as track reserve, the first of which saw him disqualified despite making an intelligent switch back to the inside after locking up in front of Ipswich man Rory Schlein.
Howarth is now preparing for the big clash with Berwick when Sheffield are looking to bounce back following defeat at Ipswich last week.
“That was disappointing but we’ll come back I’m sure of that,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it and we need to go on a winning run now to push ourselves towards the play-offs.
“We have a good side and I know there’s been talk of changing here and there but overall I still think we can improve as the season progresses.
“We haven’t been able to get any momentum but hopefully with a busier spell now things are about to change.”