Monday September 13, 2021
LEICESTER travel to Kent on Tuesday (6.30pm) with plenty still to race for as the Championship play-offs draw closer.

The Watling JCB Lions have all-but qualified for the top six shootout, although mathematically they need one more point to be certain, and their actual finishing position in the play-off zone is also a matter of importance.

Lions have 33 points and a successful week on the road could still see them challenge for the top two, which would put them automatically in the semi-finals.

They visit both of the sides immediately above them, Redcar and Glasgow, on Friday and Sunday respectively, either side of the home KO Cup semi-final clash with Poole.

Should they finish within the third-to-sixth section of the table, their quarter-final opponents in the play-offs are likely to come from either Edinburgh or Scunthorpe.

Tuesday’s trip to Central Park sees the Lions come up against a home side who have been much improved over the second half of the season since the signing of Troy Batchelor at No.1.

Ironically Leicester were initially planning to visit the Sittingbourne venue on the very first night of their season, long before Batchelor arrived – but the meeting was postponed due to rain, and then put back again in the summer due to England’s progress in Euro 2020.

Batchelor has formed a sensational spearhead with former Lions skipper Scott Nicholls, and the Kings have since won six home matches after losing three times on their own circuit earlier in the campaign, as well as pulling off a series of draws away from home.

Last week they fought back from ten points down with four races remaining to snatch a 46-44 win over Scunthorpe.

Lions are at full strength and boss Stewart Dickson has again juggled his riding order with Ryan Douglas taking the No.5 berth whilst Hans Andersen and Kyle Howarth form the middle-order combination.

Dickson said: “We need to try and win at Kent first, that’s the plan, and then we can look towards trying to get another win at Redcar or Glasgow.

“It’s going to be an interesting few weeks ahead and obviously we want to finish as high as possible in the table, which would make things more straightforward for us further down the line.”

KENT: Troy Batchelor, Ben Morley, Paul Starke, Cameron Heeps, Scott Nicholls, Jake Mulford, Dan Gilkes.
LEICESTER: Nick Morris, Dan Thompson, Hans Andersen, Kyle Howarth, Ryan Douglas, Joe Thompson, Zaine Kennedy.

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