Sunday August 04, 2019
LEICESTER kept their play-off push very much on track with a 53-37 win over Sheffield at the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena.

Skipper Scott Nicholls showed all of his class with a 12-point maximum whilst Aaron Summers put in a superb display as guest for Richie Worrall, dropping just one point in five rides.

And with the rest of the Watling JCB Lions’ line-up all chipping in with points, the Tigers were sent home with no reward after the home side pulled clear in the second half of the meeting.

Newcomer Ty Proctor experienced mixed fortunes on his debut, but his first ride was a good one as he partnered Ryan Douglas to a 5-1 in Heat 3 despite the Aussie getting out of shape on turn two.

Connor Mountain was forced into swift avoiding action when Josh MacDonald fell in front of him in Heat 4, and Lions took a 4-2 in the re-run as Nicholls headed Kyle Howarth.

The Tigers cut the gap to six and then sent out Danny King as a tactical substitute in Heat 6 – but Summers pulled off a great ride to defeat the visitors’ top duo.

Nicholls overhauled a fast-starting Justin Sedgmen to win a shared Heat 7, but Sheffield remained in touch and notched a 4-2 from Heat 8 with Ellis Perks splitting Todd Kurtz and MacDonald.

However, Douglas rode superbly to defeat Howarth in Heat 9 after Proctor had fallen, and then Summers and Perks survived a close call with each other on turn four in Heat 10 to record a big 5-1.

Nicholls defeated opposite number King in Danny King in Heat 11 with the drama behind as third-placed Todd Kurtz retired when his bike caught fire on the third lap.

Lions marched on with Mountain and Proctor combining for a Heat 12 maximum, whilst Nicholls and Summers did likewise in Heat 13 with a vintage second-turn move from Nicholls to account for Howarth, extending the lead to 18 points.

There was some late consolation for the Tigers with winners in the last two races as Sedgmen got the better of Douglas in Heat 14, and King rode a stormer in the last race to get round Summers and stop the Leicester guest from securing a maximum.

Nicholls said: “It was a great win, we knew Sheffield could push us really tight but the track rode well and we came away with a good result.

“It’s important for us to keep the momentum going, covering for Richie (Worrall) and we’ve had some good guests coming in - and Aaron came in today and did a fantastic job.

“We’ve got to keep the form going. There’s no point being successful qualifying for the play-offs and then falling apart when the big stuff comes along.”

Lions are next in Championship action on Saturday (August 10) when they host Scunthorpe.

LEICESTER 53: Aaron Summers 13+1, Scott Nicholls 12, Ryan Douglas 9+1, Connor Mountain 6, Ellis Perks 5+1, Ty Proctor 5+1, Joe Lawlor 3+2.
SHEFFIELD 37: Danny King 11+1, Kyle Howarth 8, Justin Sedgmen 5, Josh MacDonald 5, Todd Kurtz 4, Drew Kemp 3+1, Zaine Kennedy 1+1.

*THE scheduled National League KO Cup tie between the Roger Webster Lion Cubs and Stoke was postponed due to torrential rain.

A thunderstorm hit the circuit in the time between meetings, and with sections of the track under water there was no chance of racing continuing.

A new date for the match is to be agreed, but supporters are advised to retain their re-admission tickets, which they can use to gain a £4 discount at any one subsequent Lions or Cubs fixture this season.

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