Tuesday September 10, 2019
LEICESTER confirmed leadership of the National League ahead of the play-offs with a 57-33 win over the Isle of Wight at the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena.

Skipper Danyon Hume scored a five-ride paid maximum as the Roger Webster Lion Cubs emulated their senior colleagues in finishing top of the table, and securing choice of semi-final opponents.

The final score didn’t fully reflect an entertaining night of racing, with the Cubs again pulling clear in the latter stages against a Warriors side who still have a play-off chance themselves and were keen to make an addition to their total.

Visiting guest No.1 Anders Rowe achieved the feat of beating Ellis Perks in Heat 1, and he showed his liking for the Leicester track by taking the flag in his opening three rides.

But the Cubs went ahead with a well-worked 5-1 from Joe Thompson and guest Matt Marson in Heat 3, whilst Hume won his first clash with opposing skipper Ben Morley in Heat 4 with an emphatic start.

Perks was pushed hard by Morley on the first lap of Heat 6 before pulling clear for the first of successive 4-2s to put the Cubs six points clear, and they gave themselves breathing space when Marson combined with Ryan Terry-Daley for maximum points in Heat 8 after Connor King crashed out on turn three.

The Warriors responded with Rowe taking a tactical substitute ride in Heat 9 and notching a 5-1 with Morley, despite the brave efforts of Thompson to pass.

At 30-24 the visitors were right in the meeting but the Cubs then went into overdrive with three 4-2s followed by three 5-1s.

The first advantage in Heat 10 came in extraordinary circumstances as Perks fell on turn four when holding the lead, but was able to re-mount quickly and chase down Chad Wirtzfeld to salvage third place on the run to the finish line as Terry-Daley inherited the win.

Thompson then produced a brilliant move to go past a fast-starting Wirtzfeld in Heat 12, before Hume and Perks bolted from the gate in Heat 13 to see off Morley and Rowe and ensure a Cubs victory.

And they didn’t let up the pressure as Josh Embleton popped up with a Heat 14 win, backed up by Marson for another 5-1, and then Perks and Hume produced a final maximum in the last.

Cubs boss Dave Howard said: “Once again it was a fantastic performance from everyone, and the way we seem to pull away at home will really make the difference when it comes to the play-offs and hopefully the Cup Final.

“With Ellis and Danyon in Heats 13 and 15 we’re really strong there, and we’ve been doing it in Heat 14 as well. Being strong in the last few heats could really help with a lead that we can take from a home leg into any away leg.

“The guys are a pleasure to work with. Everyone is so positive in the pits, we have a message group where we have some good banter between us, and it’s great to know that we’re going to get 100 per cent from them every meeting.

“Hopefully now we can bring some silverware back at the end of the season.”

The Cubs will now await news of the full play-off line-up, with Belle Vue and Kent certain to feature – whilst the fourth spot is between the Isle of Wight, Cradley and Mildenhall.

In the meantime they travel to Stoke on Saturday for what is sadly expected to be the last-ever league fixture at Loomer Road.

LECIESTER 57: Danyon Hume 14+1, Ellis Perks 11+1, Ryan Terry-Daley 11, Joe Thompson 9, Matt Marson 6+3, Josh Embleton 6, Dan Thompson r/r
ISLE OF WIGHT 33: Anders Rowe 11, Ben Morley 10+1, Chad Wirtzfeld 4, Chris Widman 3+1, Scott Campos 3, Connor King 2, Danno Verge r/r

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