Monday July 29, 2019
LEICESTER stormed to the top of the National League table with a brilliant 50-40 win at previous leaders Kent on Monday.

The Roger Webster Lion Cubs overcame the loss of youngster Joe Thompson after a first-ride crash to take the honours at Central Park with all four league points.

No.1 Ellis Perks scored a five-ride paid maximum and combined with skipper Danyon Hume for two sensational 5-1s in Heats 13 and 15 to secure the victory – whilst recent signing Ryan Terry-Daley racked up paid-14 from seven outings at reserves.

It looked as if it could be a good night to visit the Sittingbourne venue as the hosts were without both regular reserves, Dan Gilkes pulling out on race-day, and with no replacement forthcoming Kent started the meeting with five riders.

But the early stages provided highs and lows as the Cubs went six points clear after two races before Thompson was withdrawn after a Heat 3 tangle with Adam Extance, meaning they were also down to five.

The Leicester advantage was cut back when Kent brought in Drew Kemp for a tactical substitute ride in Heat 6, and he combined with Anders Rowe for a 5-1 over Hume.

Dan Thompson won Heat 8 as the Cubs went four points clear, but despite the gaps in their lower order there was always the fear that the Kings could strike back in the closing stages.

Perks got the better of Kemp in Heat 11 after a close early battle, and the Cubs went into the key Heat 13 four points clear – with Perks and Hume charging away from the start to defeat Kemp and Anders Rowe for a huge 5-1.

Terry-Daley successfully split Extance and James Laker in Heat 14 to ensure the away win, and with the Cubs needing an advantage from the last race Hume and Perks got the job done once more over Kemp and Jordan Jenkins.

Manager Dave Howard said: “It was a strange meeting with them only having five riders at the start, and then after Heat 3 we only had five riders ourselves.

“Losing Joe in his first ride put us under pressure with Kent’s strong top three, and that also meant the reserves were having a lot of rides.

“In the end it was still close until the last three or four heats, and then Ellis and Danyon did their fantastic job in Heats 13 and 15.

“It was looking like it could go either way, but two brilliant 5-1s from them clinched all four points for us – so it was a great win for us and a great performance from the team.

“Obviously it was sad to lose Joe and we’ll be monitoring him over the coming days, but it’s a nice feeling for us to be top of the table.”

With Tuesday’s scheduled home clash against the Isle of Wight called off, the Cubs are back in action at Plymouth on Friday.

KENT 40: Drew Kemp 13, Jordan Jenkins 10, Adam Extance 8+2, Anders Rowe 7+1, James Laker 2, Dan Gilkes DNR, Alex Spooner R/R.
LEICESTER 50: Danyon Hume 14, Ellis Perks 13+2, Ryan Terry-Daley 12+2, Dan Thompson 6+1, Ryan MacDonald 5+2, Joe Thompson 0, Luke Ruddick R/R.

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