Sheffield boasts a new national champion

Josh Bates - with his cup.

Josh Bates - with his cup.

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Josh Bates will display his British U21 silverware to the Owlerton crowd at tonight’s League Cup tie with Redcar (7.45).

He was involved in crashes and the ambulance was called at one stage – but got back on the bike. And he admits he couldn’t sleep when he arrived home after all the messages he received. He said: “I’m still having to pinch myself now. I really can’t believe it’s happened.

Sheffield has a new national champion. Josh Bates won the British Under 21 speedway

Sheffield has a new national champion. Josh Bates won the British Under 21 speedway

“I couldn’t sleep on Tuesday, I was overwhelmed with messages of congratulations from all over the country, especially Sheffield. It means so much to me and I’m so proud of what I’ve achieved, especially for my family. I went there thinking I’d be happy with sixth or eighth place but won it! I was run over, had a few crashes, a lot of re-runs but I’ve done it. It’s going to give me a lot of confidence; hopefully this will just be the start for me.

“I’ll be going to places now on a high, hopefully it can lead me to score more points for Sheffield and go on a good run of form.”

Bates will be available for pictures with the trophy on entry to the stadium tonight between 6.30-7pm. The first 100 children through the turnstiles with a paying adult will also be handed a free Easter egg.

Sheffield need to win the meeting to keep alive their qualification hopes ahead of the return on Teesside tomorrow.

SHEFFIELD: Simon Stead, Simon Nielsen, Leigh Lanham, Taylor Poole, Adam Roynon, Andre Compton, Josh Bates.

REDCAR: Richard Lawson, Rafal Konopka, Hugh Skidmore, Carl Wilkinson, Aaron Summers, Jan Graversen, Luke Crang.