Sheffield speedway: when friends become enemies

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Captain Kyle Howarth insists there will be no sentiment between Premiership colleagues when Sheffield travel to play-off adversaries Ipswich tonight (7.30).

The Owlerton number five takes on Wolverhampton team-mate Rory Schlein, his counterpart at the Witches, twice and could end up racing against Wolves youngster Nathan Greaves should reserve switches get made.

It is not an unusual state of affairs in British speedway with increasing numbers of riders doubling up in the top two leagues and while the trio will remain friends come what may, Howarth has vowed to be ruthless.

“The club you ride for on one day might have certain team-mates but if you go up against them somewhere else they become rivals,” said Howarth. “The bottom line in speedway is the more points you score, the more money you make so you don’t think too much about lads you work with at other clubs when you’re racing against them.

“You can still have a laugh but this is also our job, it is business and we have to take a professional approach into it.”

Ipswich have an imperious home record of 10 wins from as many Championship outings but Howarth has his sights set on blotting their copy book, particularly after Tigers showed their teeth in a 46-44 win at Workington on Saturday.

“Before that, we had a big loss at Glasgow which was one of those days where nothing went for us but we bounced back with a good win at Workington,” he added. “It was a really solid performance from the boys from one to seven so that was good. It is going well and we just want to keep putting points on the board.”

Josh Bailey stands in for the injured Robert Branford at reserve for Sheffield. Ipswich will be at full strength.

IPSWICH: Danny King, Kyle Newman, Cameron Heeps, Justin Sedgmen, Rory Schlein, Nathan Greaves, Connor Mountain.

TIGERS: Josh Grajczonek, Todd Kurtz, Lasse Bjerre, Josh Bates, Kyle Howarth, Josh Bailey, Nathan Stoneman.