Nervous Sheffield Tigers boss relied on text messages for play off news

Dimitri Berge  gets inside on the Owlerton track
Dimitri Berge gets inside on the Owlerton track
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Sheffield Tigers co-owner Damien Bates has revealed how he had to follow the last gasp play-off drama at Newcastle on his phone!

Bates was in Gdansk to support nephew Josh and team-mate Dimitri Berge in the final round of the World U21 Final. Manager Eric Boocock and co-promoter Pete Mole made the trip to Newcastle and saw Tigers, helped by a number of star guests, win by four-points on aggregate and book a place in the semi-finals with Glasgow.

Bates said: “Because it was a last heat decider at Newcastle I was on my phone awaiting text messages and I couldn’t stand still waiting for the result, I was that tense. I now know what it’s like watching scores come through on a phone, it’s not pleasant when it’s your team. I was in the pits watching Josh and Dimitri in Gdansk and when the result came through I shouted that loud because of a text message I’d received, the Poles were wondering what I was doing!

“We won against Newcastle and at the same time Dimitri finished fifth and Josh 10th in the Championship – Sunday was a very good day for Sheffield Speedway!

“We know Glasgow will be tough now, we will have to look closely at what guest riders are available because it appears Dimitri has a wrist injury now, but I’m well versed on using guests unfortunately.

“It was hard on Newcastle because they were beaten by a team with guest riders, but when you look at Kyle Howarth’s score it’s brilliant – and Ricky Wells had a couple of seasons with the club and still has a lot of affection for the place.”

Bates added: “Glasgow will fancy their chances – but we’ll be up for it and I expect dates to be finalised today.”