SPEEDWAY: Machin defends meet’s postponement

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SHEFFIELD owner Neil Machin has dismissed suggestions that last night’s British Championship semi-final was postponed for reasons other than the weather.

Machin took the decision to call the meeting off at midday after consulting several local weather forecasts, which suggested that there would be rain arriving at Owlerton from the early evening.

There has been talk that a dispute over the inclusion of Simon Stead may have played a part in Machin’s decision after the Sheffield born rider was told he had to ride for his Elite League club Swindon instead, despite that being clearly against the rules.

Machin has put paid to that theory though, he said: “We had heavy rain overnight and there was localised flooding, but the biggest factor was the terrible weather forecast.

“We have supporters and riders travelling from far and wide and we wanted to minimise the inconvenience to them. The forecast going forward meant that it was unlikely we were going to be able to complete a speedway meeting and rather than wait until everyone has travelled to Owlerton, we wanted to make life easier for those having to come a long way.

“A meeting of this calibre should be staged in perfect conditions, and there was no way that that could happen last night. It is an enormous disappointment for the club because we have put in an awful lot of effort and work in recent weeks

n Tigers go to Somerset in the Premier League tonight.