Bates left ‘over the moon’ after his British U-21 triumph. And he was left surprised that he was left with gate one in the final – Bates had been gating well all night

Winner Josh Bates (centre) flanked by runner-up Adam Ellis (left) & third placed Jason Garrity.

Winner Josh Bates (centre) flanked by runner-up Adam Ellis (left) & third placed Jason Garrity. Picture: Stevve Waller British under 21 championship - Credit: Archant

Mildenhall Fen Tigers ace Josh Bates admitted to being ‘totally over the moon’ after his British U-21 victory at Wolverhampton on Tuesday night.

The 18-year-old Sheffield youngster, who rides for the Fen Tigers in the National League, won the title after a dramatic night’s speedway in the Midlands.

Indeed the final itself required three re-runs before Bates fended off Ipswich Witches star Adam Ellis to take the trophy.

And now, as he reflects in the glory of the night, he admits it is still taking time to sink in.

“I really can’t believe it,” he said.

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“When I got to the semi-finals I thought I had done ok, but to go on and win is just unbelievable. The final had three re-runs and I was leading all of them, so it was nice to finish it off the third time.

“My gating was just so good all night. I’ve been working on that with Ty Proctor and Joe Screen and they have been helping me.”

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Stefan Nielsen was the first rider to be excluded in the final, before Jason Garrity was excluded in the re-run.

At the third time of asking, Bates held off Ellis and then revealed he was surprised that he was left with the remaining gate that had not been chosen in the final, gate one.

“I was quite happy with gate one in the final to be honest,” Bates added.

“I had the last choice and couldn’t believe I had it really.”

Bates will be at Mildenhall on Sunday afternoon to show off his trophy as the Fen Tigers entertain Coventry.

Ellis, meanwhile, admitted: “Of course I’m pretty gutted not to win as I was sure I could.

“It was a bit my own fault for not picking the right gate in the final. I went for gate two and perhaps I should have gone for one. But hey, you live and learn.

“Josh is a worthy champion. He was on fire all night and although I’m disappointed, I’m very happy for him. He’s a good lad.”

Ellis will be missing from both the Witches’ clashes with Peterborough tomorrow as he is riding for his parent club Lakeside in a double-header against Eastbourne.

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