Sunday September 17, 2017
LEICESTER took the local derby spoils with a 50-43 win over rivals Coventry in Sunday’s East Midlands Bowl at Beaumont Park.

The Watling JCB Lions made the most of a fast start to proceedings as they built a lead, before some mechanical issues crept in to allow the visitors to reduce the arrears.

With the Bees – backed by a healthy travelling support as they fight for their club’s future – tracking three big-hitters, they were always likely to provide a stern test.

So the Lions did well to open up a 20-10 advantage after five races, helped by a fast-gating Heat 1 5-1 from Kim Nilsson and Josh Bates over track specialist Scott Nicholls.

Coventry hit back with Hans Andersen slipping inside Danny King to win a tactical ride in Heat 7, but Bates got the better of Rob Shuttleworth in a frantic finish to Heat 8 and teamed up with Kyle Newman to re-extend the margin to nine.

Nilsson became the first man to defeat Andersen with a fine ride in Heat 10 to reel in the Dane and go round him off turn four, before the Bees collected a series of race wins to narrow the gap 13-points down.

Mechanical failures for Newman in Heat 12 and Nilsson in the next race handed Coventry extra points, before a delay caused by a heavy shower which turned the track into a skidpan.

Both teams sportingly agreed to continue, as to abandon the meeting would have also caused the following British Youth Championship round to be called off.

Kenneth Hansen won Heat 14 for the Bees but a share of the points from Jan Graversen and Lasse Bjerre ensured a Lions victory, before King headed home Nicholls and Rory Schlein in the finale.

Bates said: “There was some good racing today, the track was a little slick and although I didn’t win a race I got a couple of paid wins, so it was nice to be back on form.

“It was really wet at the end, and my bike wasn’t ready because I didn’t think I was going in Heat 15, so I jumped on Lasse’s (Bjerre) – but there was some problem with it from the start.

“We all got stuck in and did it though, we had to do that race so the kids’ meeting could take place.”

Lions are now awaiting news of their opposition in the promotion/relegation race-off, but they stage another big meeting next Sunday (3pm) as the National League Riders’ Championship takes place at Beaumont Park.

LEICESTER 50: Danny King 14, Kim Nilsson 10, Josh Bates 7+3, Lasse Bjerre 7+1, Kyle Newman 7, Jan Graversen 5+2, Pawel Przedpelski r/r.
COVENTRY 43: Hans Andersen 14, Rory Schlein 11+1, Scott Nicholls 10+1, Kenneth Hansen 5, Joe Jacobs 2, Rob Shuttleworth 1, Adam Roynon 0.

*LEICESTER mascots Joe and Dan Thompson secured a one-two finish in the final round of the British 250cc Youth Championship which followed the East Midlands Bowl.

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