Saturday June 19, 2021
LEICESTER youngster Dan Thompson came of age in the Championship with a stunning performance in the 51-39 home win over Redcar.

Thompson piled up a sensational 13-point haul, including four race wins, as the Watling JCB Lions overcame one of the strongest sides in the league in a highly entertaining fixture.

After teaming up with brother Joe for a 5-1 in Heat 2, Thompson played a crucial match-turning role, taking extra rides as the Lions rode as a six-man outfit with Josh Bates having been ruled out with a shoulder injury.

The 17-year-old Thompsons had always been expected to be competitive at this level on their home track, but Dan incredibly took the scalps of seasoned professionals Richard Lawson and Jake Allen as well as those from closer to his own experience in a performance which will never be forgotten by all present.

Brother Joe also battled away for a vital paid-seven contribution despite a crash in Heat 4 when Redcar’s Jordan Jenkins – who put on a great display for the visitors -brought down Ryan Douglas on the third bend, causing Joe to also come down.

But Joe recovered to claim an important third place over Anders Rowe in Heat 8 at a time when the Lions were defending an eight-point advantage.

The biggest result, though had come in Heat 5 when Dan Thompson and skipper Kyle Howarth both muscled their way past Bears star Jake Allen, with guest No.1 Richard Lawson at the back, for what may well turn out to be the shock 5-1 of the season.

And Thompson was at it again in Heat 7, this time combining with Douglas to defeat Allen and Anders Rowe, whilst Howarth ended the winning run of Michael Palm Toft in Heat 9 which was the first of two 4-2s to put the Lions twelve points up.

Palm Toft took a tactical substitute ride in Heat 11 and looked set to record a 5-1 with Lawson only to lose power and allow Douglas to snatch second place, and although Morris locked up on turn two in Heat 13, a race win for Douglas ensured the Lions’ victory.

Thompson then ended his dream night by taking his fourth win in Heat 14 with Ty Proctor snatching third place on the line from Rowe, which confirmed the Bears would take nothing from the meeting.

Manager Stewart Dickson said: “Redcar are one of the fancied teams, but we re-iterated what I’d said during the week when we were on the track walk, the riders were up for it, and to send Redcar away pointless was pleasing.

“There were many people who doubted me putting the twins in – I think they can see now that we do have something special.

“Obviously Dan will get the plaudits tonight, but Joe also scored paid-seven, and eight points here last week, so they’re taking turns and it’s great to see. Long may the two of them continue in that form.

“We had a bit more material on the track tonight and Dan certainly enjoyed it, plus Kyle as well exciting-wise, whereas maybe Nick and Dougy took a wee bit longer to get going.

“Special mention for Ty as well, he’s got a heavy cold at the moment and we gave him five rides. Everybody could see he didn’t have his gating boots on, but he was in some of the most exciting races again.”

LEICESTER 51: Dan Thompson 13, Kyle Howarth 11+2, Ryan Douglas 11+1, Nick Morris 7, Ty Proctor 5+1, Joe Thompson 4+3, Josh Bates r/r.
REDCAR 39: Richard Lawson 11, Michael Palm Toft 10+1, Jordan Jenkins 8+1, Jake Allen 5, Anders Rowe 5, James Sarjeant 0, Jordan Stewart r/r.

Picture: MARK HALL

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