Friday October 18, 2019
LEICESTER stage the biggest meeting in the history of the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena on Saturday – as they contest the Championship Grand Final (7.30pm).

The Watling JCB Lions host powerhouse Glasgow in what is now the first leg of the title decider after Friday’s scheduled meeting at Ashfield was postponed due to the weather. That match has now been re-arranged for next Tuesday (October 22).

With the switch in order of legs, the onus is now on the Lions to build a lead, and a bumper crowd is expected for the final senior meeting of a memorable campaign, which has already seen them lift the Championship Shield.

Leicester edged out Glasgow in a thrilling race for top spot in the regular table, finishing two points clear of the Tigers after 20 fixtures, which earned them choice of semi-final opponents.

There was little to choose between them in their summer league contests, with the Lions unlucky to miss out a on a point when going down 48-41 at Ashfield, whilst the return was a thriller which Leicester edged 46-44 after the Tigers made an explosive start.

Last week’s aggregate win over Redcar was a nerve-jangling affair, whilst the Scottish side had already booked their Grand Final place by overcoming Somerset over two legs.

Both sides had impressive away form in the regular campaign, and Glasgow undoubtedly track a power-packed top-order, with captain Craig Cook averaging over ten, and Rasmus Jensen – a title-winner with Workington last year – over nine.

Jensen and fellow Dane Claus Vissing, along with the Lions’ Ellis Perks, are looking to complete a league double having been successful in the Premiership with Swindon on Thursday.

And a further element to add spice to the occasion is in the fact that Lions boss Stewart Dickson is a former long-serving promoter and team manager of Glasgow, and led the Tigers to their last title back in 2011.

Dickson said: “It’s top of the league against second in the league in the Final, so it’s probably the two clubs who should be in it, and I suspect it could be too close to call.

“I think for a neutral it’s a hard one to predict. I’ve looked at it and I think I can see weaknesses in their team that we will hope to exploit, and I can also see their strengths – and I’m sure they have been doing exactly the same with us!

“I know there’s a lot being made about it being my old club, but when the riders put their helmets on and get pushed off, I can assure you Stewart Dickson won’t be in the minds of either team.

“The main thing is that I’ll be telling my riders to seize the opportunity and make the most of it, and as long as we don’t get any terrible luck then we’ll give it a right good go.”

Eastbourne star Richard Lawson has been booked to guest for the injured Richie Worrall, whilst the visitors travel with a full-strength line-up.

LEICESTER: Scott Nicholls, Ty Proctor, Richard Lawson, Ellis Perks, Ryan Douglas, Joe Lawlor, Connor Mountain.
GLASGOW: Craig Cook, Mikkel B Andersen, Claus Vissing, Sam Jensen, Rasmus Jensen, Connor Bailey, Kyle Bickley.

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