Saturday September 07, 2019
LEICESTER Lion Cubs are just one win away from securing top spot in the National League – after a 54-36 win over Mildenhall on Saturday.

Roger Webster Lion Cubs No.1 Ellis Perks scored a five-ride paid maximum whilst skipper Danyon Hume racked up 14 points in another solid display from the side.

Victory moves them onto 31 league points, with second-placed Belle Vue able to reach a potential total of 32 if they win their final match at Plymouth.

But before that, the Lion Cubs host the Isle of Wight on Tuesday, and a win in that match will leave them uncatchable by the Colts – and give them the potentially vital choice of play-off semi-final opponents.

Saturday’s meeting was a largely straightforward run-out for the Cubs, who took advantage of the Fen Tigers being depleted by the late withdrawal of key top-five rider Henry Atkins.

There was impressive resistance from Matt Marson and Ryan Kinsley in the early stages, whilst Jack Smith popped up with two late wins – but the visitors also conceded a total of six 5-1s.

Perks’s only concern came in Heat 1 when he was forced out on the first bend and was left chasing, only for Marson to slide off on turn three and force a race stoppage.

The Lion Cubs’ No.1 was untroubled thereafter, and the team-riding between himself and Hume in Heats 13 and 15 was worthy of a much higher level.

Hume himself only missed out on a full house to Kinsley, who rode as a tactical substitute in Heat 7 and won despite Hume’s constant efforts to pass.

Leicester secured 5-1s in each of the races which had been programmed for Atkins, and would have been further ahead but for guest David Wallinger spinning out of third place in Heat 8 and then having engine failure when on a 5-1 with Perks in Heat 10.

Joe Thompson showed his maturity with a fine ride to follow team-mate Josh Embleton home for maximum points in Heat 9, with Embleton and Ryan Terry-Daley again underlining their strength at reserve late in the campaign.

Thompson was also involved in a good race with Smith in Heat 14, moving inside the Mildenhall guest on turn three only for Smith to bravely make it back around the outside.

But that shared race was preceded and followed by two emphatic Hume/Perks 5-1s which meant a six-point margin at the halfway stage of the contest had become 18 by the end of the night.

Cubs captain Hume said: “It’s another solid team performance, everyone is firing especially around here, and we’ve just got to keep it going.

“Finishing top is one thing but it’s all about the play-offs and we’ve got to dig deep, keep our heads in gear and go from there.

“It’s always good fun to ride with Ellis, I take a quick look across on bend one to see that he’s there, and 90 per cent of the time that’s how we finish!”

LEICESTER 54: Danyon Hume 14, Ellis Perks 13+2, Joe Thompson 9+1, Ryan Terry-Daley 7+3, Josh Embleton 7+1, David Wallinger 4+2, Luke Ruddick r/r.
MILDENHALL 36: Ryan Kinsley 11+1, Matt Marson 10+1, Jack Smith 9, Arran Butcher 4+1, Elliot Kelly 2, Kean Dicken 0, Charlie Brooks r/r.

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