Glasgow Tigers steeled for Sheffield play-off semi-final

James Sarjeant hopes to play a major role for Glasgow Tigers (pic by Ian Adam).James Sarjeant hopes to play a major role for Glasgow Tigers (pic by Ian Adam).
James Sarjeant hopes to play a major role for Glasgow Tigers (pic by Ian Adam).
James Sarjeant returns to a Glasgow racejacket this week - and says he's ready to play a major part in the Tigers' push for the title.

The Englishman rode for the club in 2015, helping them to two finals in their debut season under new ownership.

The Workington man will stand in for the injured Tom Perry as Glasgow travel to Sheffield on Thursday in the first leg of the SGB Championship playoffs semi-final, after the Yorkshire Tigers elected to face their Scottish rivals.

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It follows another guest appearance for Glasgow at Edinburgh on Friday when he scored 12+2 points.

Sarjeant is happy to pull on a red and white racejacket again and will aim to use his experience of competing for trophies at Ashfield when he lines up at Owlerton.

He said: "I'm looking forward to it - hopefully I can help Glasgow get through into the playoff final.

"I've been riding at reserve this year and I've felt a performance like Edinburgh was coming for a while.

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"I'm trying to finish on a high, it's been a bit of a bumpy year and start-stop, so it's good to get some matches in.

"I've raced Sheffield a few times now - it's a fast track and a little bit different to Glasgow. We've got a good enough team to get plenty of points.

"It's the playoffs too so anything can happen - we start from scratch."

Glasgow line up with rider replacement in the unusual position of No 5 for the absent Nike Lunna, while Dan Bewley returns to the team at No 2. Richard Lawson moves to 1 with Aaron Summers at 3 and Richie Worrall at 4.

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Jack Smith is battling to be fit at No 7 after his finger injury, and is still doubtful, with Newcastle's Alfie Bowtell lined up to deputise - while Sarjeant slots in at 6.

It could mean a busy night for the former Coventry ace, but he's keen to race as much as possible in the special atmosphere of a playoff meeting.

"I probably enjoy it more when I've got ride after ride - you don't have any time to think," he said.

"The playoffs always have a different atmosphere. I've been in a few with Coventry, Glasgow and Ipswich - there's a little bit more pressure and you feel you want to do a little bit extra on top of what you have been doing all season.

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"I enjoy riding in playoffs, it's good, hard racing - and anything can happen. Everyone is up for it, more than what they normally are.

"I always give 100% anyway but it's the atmosphere in the pits that's special. Your team manager is pushing you more and you've got more people around you for these matches.

"You don't want to let anyone down."

The sides face off again on Tuesday at the Peugeot Ashfield Stadium in the second leg, with the winners facing Edinburgh or Ipswich.

Sheffield return to full strength for the meetings after Todd Kurtz and Josh Bates recovered from injury.