The Tru Plant Tigers were tipped as many people’s pre-season favourites for the 2022 Premiership and have opened their league account with two wins out of two.
They also kept their hopes of a treble alive on Thursday – but only just.
The Tru Plant Tigers scraped through to the final of the Premiership League Cup despite suffering their first defeat of the season at the hands of Wolverhampton.
It was the Wolves who won 46-44 on the night in a last heat decider, leaving the two sides level on nine points at the top of the Northern Group.
But with race points difference then taken into account, the result meant the Tigers were left on +18 with Wolves on +16, as the South Yorkshire side went through by the narrowest of margins.
They will now face King’s Lynn over two legs in the final, with dates to be confirmed.
In the meantime, the newly formatted Premiership Pairs gets underway tonight at Peterborough – another competition that Bates reckons his side have got a ‘fantastic chance’ of succeeding in over the six rounds.
“In the Pairs Steady (Simon Stead – team manager) can pick from our top four riders,” Bates explained.
“So that’s Jack (Holder), Adam (Ellis), Tobi (Musielak) and Craig (Cook) as it stands.
“We’ve gone with Jack and Adam for Peterborough and although all the pairings look strong, I think they’ve got a really good chance of getting that win in the first round.
“I think any of those riders can perform at any of the six tracks as well so I think we’ll be there-or-there-abouts.
“Of course we were disappointed to lose our first meeting against Wolves, but we’re into the Final and that’s the most important thing.
“Regardless of what competition it is, everybody likes to win a trophy.
“And with the team and the riders we’ve got this season, we’ve got a real chance to win one, if not two, maybe even three.”
The Tru Plant Tigers are back at Owlerton this Thursday (May 26, 7.30) for a mouthwatering War of the Roses derby clash against Belle Vue.