Speedway: Time for Tigers to silence critics, says Sheffield co-owner Damien Bates

Joe Lawlor. By Ian Charles
Joe Lawlor. By Ian Charles
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It's time for Tigers to silence the critics – according to club co-owner Damien Bates.

The Owlerton side are back on home shale against Scunthorpe tomorrow night with a change at reserve as young club asset Joe Lawlor comes in for Georgie Wood.

And Bates says last week’s defeat at the hands of Lakeside was hard to take.

“It’s time to put it right and silence the critics,” he said.

“We need to bounce back straight away but we know what a tough test Scunthorpe will be, they are a top side.

“What happened here last Thursday was a major disappointment and I can understand the frustration of the fans, this is something only the riders can put right and we’re working on it.

“We need a win against Scunthorpe tonight and I know there is a real determination in the camp to make it happen.”

Tonight is also the 2000th meeting to be staged at Owlerton and a host of former Sheffield riders have accepted invites to attend.

These include the Collins brothers, Les and Neil, who were heroes in the 1980s, along with 1990s stars Robbie Kessler, Sean Wilson and Scott Smith.

Bates added: “It’s been a great response from the former riders and we look forward to welcoming them all here.

“This club has a very proud history and we will embrace that tonight. There have been many special moments and the club has also been through tough times, but I will only enjoy the occasion if the lads do the business out there on track.”

Bates has explained the decision to give Lawlor an opportunity at the expense of Wood.

“It just hasn’t worked out for Georgie and it’s disappointing to say the least,” he said. “He did a great job for us last year when we won the league but this time it’s been different.

“We thank him and wish him all the best for the future.

“Joe is a young lad who wants chances at this level and he is our own rider so we feel we have nothing to lose and everything to gain by giving him a chance.”

TIGERS: Charles Wright, Todd Kurtz, Lasse Bjerre, Broc Nicol, Kyle Howarth, James Shanes, Joe Lawlor.

SCUNTHORPE: Steve Worrall, Stefan Nielsen R/R, Jason Garrity, Jake Allen, Josh Auty, Danny Phillips, Gino Manzares.