Sheffield Tigers warned to leave disputes off the track

Tigers co-promoter Damien Bates
Tigers co-promoter Damien Bates

Sheffield Tigers have been told to forget about the off-track controversy between themselves and play-off rivals Peterborough when the sides meet at Owlerton tonight (7.30).

The Panthers have issued a statement saying they never agreed to tonight’s date for the first leg of the play-offs with three riders initially unavailable.

But Tigers bosses dug their heels in saying they needed a fixture to fulfil their obligations to the Owlerton landlords.

Ben Barker, Emil Grondal and Anders Thomsen were originally set to miss the meeting, but all have rearranged their travel plans to ensure they will take their place in the Panthers side.

And Tigers co-promoter Damien Bates said: “It’s time for the talking to stop and for us to focus on the racing. Nothing else matters right now.

“The lads have a job to do, it has been a little frustrating that we haven’t had a home meeting for a few weeks because we staged the Premier League Riders’ Championship, but when we get together tonight we will definitely be up for it.

“We need a handy lead to take to Peterborough for the return leg, whenever that may be.

“We have a job to do and our lads will be told to ignore what’s been said and written this week.

“They’re already motivated and they’re well and truly up for the challenge.

“We just want to get started and try and get the lead we feel we need to go to Peterborough.

“After everything we’ve been through this season we believe we deserve this, it’s a fantastic achievement to reach the play-offs.”

Peterborough are looking at September 25 and September 27 as potential dates for the return leg with confirmation expected soon.

Sheffield: Jason Garrity, Josh Bates, David Bellego, Nicolai Klindt, Andre Compton, Paco Castagna, Robin Aspegren.

Peterborough: Ulrich Ostergaard R/R, Simon Lambert, Anders Thomsen, Michael Palm-Toft, Ben Barker, Rafal Konopka, Emil Grondal.