Saturday May 29, 2021
LEICESTER made it two wins out of two in the National Development League with a 50-40 home win over Armadale on Saturday.

The Roger Webster Lion Cubs controlled the contest thanks to a series of mid-meeting 4-2s in a hard-working all-round team performance.

Dan Thompson led the way with five super victories, including wins over the Devils’ No.1 Nathan Greaves in Heats 11 and 13, having to show all of his track craft in the latter during what was a high-class battle.

Thompson was denied an 18-point maximum when he and brother Joe suffered a 5-1 reverse at the hands of Greaves and Tom Woolley in Heat 15, although by that stage the visitors’ hopes of salvaging a league point had already disappeared.

Armadale suffered an early blow when their new star reserve George Rothery crashed heavily in Heat 2, lifting as he exited the second bend whilst leading, before slamming into the back straight fence.

Rothery thankfully walked away and continued after treatment, but his scoring was clearly affected, whilst the Millar brothers were also fortunate in Heat 14 when Lewis fell on the third bend and Gregor had no chance of avoiding him.

But the Lion Cubs weren’t without problems of their own with No.1 Joe Lawlor withdrawing from his final ride after aggravating a wrist injury at the start of Heat 10, which he went on to win.

The Thompsons won seven races between them, and excellent back-up in the top five came from Tom Spencer who scored every time and took charge of Heat 8 when taking a rider-replacement outing.

Spencer completed his meeting by notching the Cubs’ only 5-1 of the night in Heat 14 alongside 15-year-old Ben Trigger, who rode with spirit and real maturity on his debut.

Trigger had already taken several points off the Armadale lower order, and his paid win in his final outing was greeted with great enthusiasm from the crowd.

Manager Dave Howard said: “Overall it was a solid team performance again with Dan and Joe leading the way, and Tom once again was really solid, scoring in every race and getting a couple of wins.

“It was great debut for Ben, and also Kai (Ward) did well in the race where Lewis Millar got past him, and he got past him again, so a good team performance.

“I think a large amount of Ben’s family were here and they were very vocal, and obviously everybody likes to see someone who’s so young coming in and really putting it in between riders in the first meeting, so it was a great performance from him in his first team meeting.

“It would have been nice for Dan to get his 18, but 16 is really good score as well, and he’s happy with that after his and Joe’s performance for the Lions at Scunthorpe, where they were both really strong.”

The Cubs will be awaiting news on Lawlor’s fitness over the days to come as next weekend is their busiest of the season, with home and away matches against Berwick – both meetings running as double-headers which also involve the Watling JCB Lions.

The Leicester teams visit Shielfield Park on Saturday before hosting the Bandits and the Bullets at the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena on Sunday at 4pm.

LEICESTER 50: Dan Thompson 16, Joe Thompson 10, Tom Spencer 9+1, Ben Trigger 7+1, Joe Lawlor 6, Kai Ward 2+1, Jamie Halder r/r.
ARMADALE 40: Nathan Greaves 13, Tom Woolley 11+1, Danny Phillips 7+1, Sheldon Davies 4+1, Gregor Millar 4, George Rothery 1, Lewis Millar 0.

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