Thursday July 29, 2021
LEICESTER’S NDL youngsters collected a thoroughly deserved league point from a narrow 47-42 defeat at Belle Vue on Thursday.

In an entertaining contest with both teams a credit to the sport, the Roger Webster Lion Cubs needed a race advantage from Heat 15 to ensure they took some reward from the meeting.

No.1 Dan Thompson completed a brilliant night’s work with a second victory over similarly impressive home No.1 Jack Smith, whilst Cubs skipper Joe Lawlor supplied the vital third place by rounding Jack Parkinson-Blackburn on the first lap.

Both teams suffered their share of misfortune, especially in an eventful Heat 3 when Colts man Paul Bowen piled into the fence on turn two and then Lawlor, who had been leading at the time of the stoppage, threw a chain at the start of the re-run.

Tom Spencer then led for three-and-a-half laps but was overhauled by Parkinson-Blackburn on the last bend of a terrific race between the pair.

The Cubs took the lead with a fabulous 5-1 in Heat 5 headed up by Thompson, whilst 15-year-old Ben Trigger displayed superb maturity to hold off Parkinson-Blackburn for second place.

Joe Thompson showed quick reactions to lay his machine down in Heat 6 when Harry McGurk reared violently inside him and fell, and in the re-run Thompson was just unable to get on terms with Smith.

The Colts went ahead with three 4-2s in four races, although Trigger was close to a win in Heat 8 only for a strong inside pass by McGurk on the last lap to take the lead – and the younger Sam McGurk was also proving a handful for the Cubs, especially with his third bend dive-bomb move to get the better of Lawlor one race earlier.

Wins for Dan Thompson in Heats 11 and 13, and third place for Joe in the latter, kept the Cubs in the hunt with just a three-point deficit.

But the Colts secured victory in a thrilling Heat 14 when Spencer just failed to get on terms with Bowen and Sam McGurk in what turned out to be a blanket finish between the three riders.

But thankfully for the Cubs, Dan Thompson and Lawlor secured a 4-2 in Heat 15 for a league point which helps them maintain second place in the NDL table ahead of a break in fixtures currently scheduled until September 11 and the reverse fixture against Belle Vue at the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena.

Team boss Dave Howard said: “With having more away meetings to come than home, if we can pick up points at each one then it gives us a chance, so I’m really pleased to get a point here.

“We really fought at the end when we went seven down to get that point, and it was a great effort from the team.

“Dan was outstanding, his speed increased as the meeting went on and his gating was electric, and Ben was unbelievable in his first three with the gates he was making, and the grip he was getting out of bend two when he was pulling away. The progress he’s making is great to see.

“Our thanks to the Leicester fans as well, we always get away fans at Cubs matches which is fantastic, and we’re very grateful for the support – especially when it’s been such a busy week.”

BELLE VUE 47: Jack Smith 13, Sam McGurk 11, Jack Parkinson Blackburn 8, Connor Coles 5+1, Harry McGurk 4, Paul Bowen 3+2, Ben Woodhull 3+1
LEICESTER 42: Dan Thompson 14, Joe Lawlor 8, Joe Thompson 8, Ben Trigger 5+2, Tom Spencer 3, Kai Ward 2+2, Mickie Simpson 2
NDL points: Belle Vue 3 Leicester 1

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