Sheffield Tigers aim for big lead from Grand Final first leg at Owlerton tonight

Kyle Howarth bids to make it a title double. Photo: Andy Garner

Kyle Howarth bids to make it a title double. Photo: Andy Garner

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Sheffield stand-in skipper Kyle Howarth will lead the Tigers into Grand Final action at Owlerton tonight (7.30).

And he says lifting the Premier League title would be a dream end to a remarkable campaign.

Howarth has enjoyed stunning success since making the winter switch to Owlerton from Workington, quickly establishing himself as a firm favourite on the terraces.

He has been at the forefront of their shock journey to the Premier League Grand Final, defying their injury crisis to move within one step of the ultimate prize.

Heading into their first leg against Somerset on home shale tonight, Howarth has spoken of his desire to once again lead them to a healthy advantage.

With the second leg at the Oaktree Arena tomorrow (7.30), he is eyeing an unlikely double by adding the Premier League crown to the Elite League title he won with Wolverhampton just last month.

“It should be good,” Howarth said. “We’ve worked hard all year, from day one, and to get to where we are now has taken a big effort from a lot of people.

“We’ve done a great job to beat two good teams in Newcastle and Glasgow to get to this stage, so we have plenty of confidence.

“To get to the Grand Final is a massive achievement for Sheffield, both the club and the riders, so we want to make the most of it.

“We’ll go into it like we have done the last two play-off meetings. We’ll try and get as many points as we can at home to take a lead to their place on Thursday.

“We’ll try and put them under pressure going into their home leg, because we’ve seen two teams in the last two rounds who didn’t like being put under so much pressure.

“The two clubs will both be desperate to win and looking for the same thing, but we’ll just give it our all and that’s all we can ask.

“Somerset are a good side, there is no getting away from it, but anything can happen over the two legs.

“The plan is just to get as many race wins as possible, avoid last places and try not to make any silly mistakes which could make the difference.

“It would be massive for me to win another title, but I’m trying not to think too much about that. I’m just excited to get to Sheffield on Wednesday to ride my bike.

“I obviously want to win, not just for myself but for the club and the fans. It goes without saying that I’ll be giving it everything I’ve got.

“It’s been a great year for myself at both Wolverhampton and Sheffield, so it would be nice to top it off by doing the double.”