Wednesday July 28, 2021
LEICESTER were unable to add to their away points total as they went down to a 52-38 defeat at Poole on Wednesday.

The Watling JCB Lions, who had won at Plymouth 24 hours earlier, were limited to just three race wins in Dorest as the home side’s heat-leaders dominated the meeting.

Lions trailed by 12 points after Heat 8 and were much more competitive in the second half of the meeting, but a comeback to secure a league point never looked likely.

The Pirates were superior from the gate for large spells and took the lead with a 5-1 in Heat 2 backed up by a 4-2 in the next race when Nick Morris was squeezed out with skipper Kyle Howarth splitting Steve Worrall and Stefan Nielsen on the second lap.

Ryan Douglas became the Lions’ first winner in Heat 4, but Poole applied what was effectively a deciding blow as early as Heat 5 when Douglas, taking a tactical substitute outing, was relegated to the back as he and Hans Andersen conceded a 5-1 to Worrall and Nielsen.

The Pirates showed passing was possible with Rory Schlein rounding Douglas to take Heat 6 and guest Drew Kemp getting the better of Zaine Kennedy in Heat 8 as the Lions found themselves 30-18 down.

Two shared races followed with Douglas taking Heat 9 ahead of Worrall, but the Lions’ night was summed up when youngster Dan Thompson collected an inexplicable disqualification in Heat 11.

Andersen had taken Poole skipper Danny King wide on the first bend, and as King looked to turn back on the Dane he collided with Thompson, who had himself made a good start.

All four back would have been a fair call but Thompson was very hard done by, and the re-run saw King produce a fine ride to steam inside Andersen going into turn three and then firmly fend off the Leicester man’s outside challenge.

Former Lion Cubs captain Danyon Hume took a spectacular fall on the finishing straight of Heat 12 as he chased Kennedy, fortunately without injury, and Kennedy picked up an extra point in Heat 14 when Nielsen fell on the last lap.

The clashes of the big guns in Heats 13 and 15 produced plenty of action with Andersen battling past Schlein in the former, whilst Andersen and Kyle Howarth relegated Worrall to the back of the latter - but the flying King was out-front on both occasions, and there was no doubt the Pirates were well worth their comfortable victory.

Lions boss Stewart Dickson said: “It was very much the same story as when we lost on Saturday night, and they were jumping out of the starts and beating us.

“I thought we were getting bullied in the first corner as well, and we had a wee chat during the second track grade where I was fairly blunt!

“Whether they got off to a very good start or we got off to a really bad one I’m not sure, but we did get a response, we showed some fight so the riders deserve credit for that – but only having three heat wins shouldn’t be happening with the team we’ve got.

“We gave ourselves too much to do, and now we need to focus on a very important home meeting against Birmingham on Saturday.”

POOLE 52: Danny King 14, Steve Worrall 11, Rory Schlein 10, Danyon Hume 5+2, James Wright 5+1, Stefan Nielsen 4+2, Drew Kemp 3.
LEICESTER 38: Kyle Howarth 9+2, Hans Andersen 9, Ryan Douglas 8, Zaine Kennedy 5+2, Nick Morris 5+1, Dan Thompson 1+1, Joe Thompson 1.

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