Saturday October 16, 2021
LEICESTER’S Championship title defence was ended on Saturday after being beaten by Poole in the Play-Off Semi-Finals.

The Watling JCB Lions were condemned to a 98-82 aggregate defeat after losing 50-40 in their home leg at the Paul Chapman and Sons Arena.

It was a bitterly disappointing end to the campaign for the Lions who had demonstrated their title credentials throughout the year.

And after pushing Poole close in Dorset on Wednesday, many felt Stewart Dickson’s side had got what it took to overturn a six-point deficit and get the better of the regular league leaders.

That belief only grew when Zaine Kennedy and Joe Thompson combined for a 5-1 in Heat Two.

But when the Pirates struck back-to-back maximums of their own in Heats Four and Five to move 12 ahead overall, the Lions always faced an uphill task.

While there were some entertaining battles to keep the supporters warm, the visitors rode sensibly and stopped the Lions from inflicting any real further damage.

And when Pirates No.1 Steve Worrall teamed up with former Lions’ favourite Danny King in Heat 13 for another 5-1, Leicester’s hopes were mathematically ended.

Team boss Stewart Dickson said: “We thought we’d kept the tie alive on Wednesday night at Wimborne Road.

“But unfortunately tonight the Pirates were just that bit better than us.

“There’s no doubt they deserved their win and sometimes you’ve just got put your hands up and say you’ve been beaten by the better team.

“We’ve had a decent season; we’ve finished third in the league, semi-finals of the play-offs, semi-finals of the Knockout Cup.

“We will make comparisons to 2019, that’s what I’m doing, we never came up to the standards that we set.

“But we have had a decent season overall and there has been a lot of entertainment which is what Speedway is all about too.”

There is still one racenight left at the Paul Chapman and Sons Arena in 2021 with a date to be confirmed for the Roger Webster Leicester Lion Cubs’ National Development League fixture against Belle Vue Colts.

LEICESTER 40: Ryan Douglas 12, Nick Morris 8, Kyle Howarth 5+2, Zaine Kennedy, 5+1, Chris Harris 5+1, Joe Thompson 4+1, Dan Thompson 1.
POOLE 50: Steve Worrall 12+1, Rory Schlein 11, Danyon Hume 9+2, Benjamin Basso 8+3, Danny King 8+1, Ben Cook 1, Zach Cook 1.
Poole win 98-82 on aggregate.

Share This:   Facebook Twitter