Nike blow hits Glasgow Tigers title hopes

Tigers ace Nike Lunna is out for the season (pic by Ian Adam)
Tigers ace Nike Lunna is out for the season (pic by Ian Adam)

Speedway side Glasgow Tigers have been dealt a blow in the race to win the SGB Championship after one of their star riders crashed out of the 2017 campaign.

Popular Finn Nike Lunna, 20, broke two bones in his back and broke his shoulder racing in Sweden on Tuesday night - ruling him out for the remainder of the season.

Lunna had been enjoying his best spell as a Glasgow rider, producing consistent scores home and away, and was set to play a key role in the Tigers' playoff matches later this year.

In a post to fans, he said: "I had a nasty crash in Swedish playoffs. I am afraid to say that my season is finished.

"I have two broken bones in my back and a broken shoulder. Thank you for all get well messages, I will be back stronger next year."

Glasgow will now have to operate as a six-man team for the rest of the season, as the injury has come after the transfer deadline, meaning they will use rider replacement in their remaining fixtures.

The news came just 48 hours before Glasgow travel to table-topping Sheffield on Thursday for their most important away match of the campaign so far.

The sides then meet again on Saturday as Glasgow bid to catch their rivals before the cut-off date for the playoffs, which comes in mid-September.

Team boss Stewart Dickson has urged his side to hold their nerve in the early stages of tomorrow's meeting - in an attempt to shred those of the hosts.

Dickson's team managed to score 44 points in a narrow defeat there earlier in the season - and he wants his riders to put the pressure on in the opening stages this time round to give the home team something to think about.

He said: "I know it sounds predictable but we need to make starts and gate with them.

"It’s a fast, fast track and if we’re not there at the first bend with them it will be hard to pass - whereas they might be able to pass us because they’re racing on the track every week.

"We need to give them something to think about. We have got riders who can ride that place - we scored 44 there in May.

"We weren’t riding above ourselves then, we were riding to our capabilities when we scored 44 then, and we need to do the same.

"We need to come out and be with them after five or six races and get them jittery, because they’ve had it too easy at home.

"The plan of attack is to take it to them and give them a match."