Wednesday April 06, 2022
LEICESTER are safely through to the KO Cup quarter-finals after drawing 30-30 in a rain-curtailed second leg at Birmingham on Wednesday.

The Watling JCB Lions will now face Scunthorpe in the last eight having overcome their Midlands rivals with the main work having been done at home in last month’s opener.

The return fixture was heavily affected by the weather with two downpours close to start-time leaving the Perry Barr track extremely wet – but the meeting still started on time and whilst conditions were far from ideal, the circuit was smooth and there were no accidents.

Lions conceded a 5-1 in Heat 1 when Nick Morris found himself filled-in on the first lap when the track was at its wettest, and a run of six successive shared races followed.

Anders Rowe, who gave his best display yet for the Lions, was an impressive winner of Heat 2, whilst skipper Kyle Howarth salvaged third place from Josh Auty in the next.

Morris produced the ride of the night in Heat 5 as he worked his way past both namesake Ashley Morris and Auty, and Richie Worrall held off home No.1 Claus Vissing to take Heat 6.

Rowe won Heat 8 in the fastest time of the night with Connor Mountain passing James Pearson for third place, and as the rain began to fall again Worrall and Joe Thompson took maximum points in the next as Ashley Morris crashed out on lap three.

The Brummies levelled again in Heat 10 with a 4-2 from Vissing and James Shanes, and with rain coming down far harder the meeting was abandoned with the result standing.

Leicester boss Stewart Dickson said: “It was a shame for the Birmingham promotion, because when I got here I thought the track looked in fantastic shape, and that heavy downpour did spoil things.

“It was a gating contest really, riders from both sides were getting filled in, but we came back into it before the meeting got curtailed.

“I’m happy we didn’t lose - we did come here to win, but probably I’m also pleased that Birmingham didn’t lose their opening meeting as well.

“The fact that we’re through to the quarter-finals is pleasing from Leicester’s point of view, and nobody got hurt in the conditions, which were deteriorating when the rain came down again around Heat 9. All the riders came through safely, and now we move on.”

Lions are back in league action at the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena on Saturday (7pm) when they host Newcastle.

CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP 1st Round, 2nd leg
BIRMINGHAM 30: Claus Vissing 8, James Shanes 6+2, Ashley Morris 4+1, Adam Ellis 4+1, Stefan Nielsen 4, Josh Auty 3, James Pearson 1+1.
LEICESTER 30: Richie Worrall 8, Anders Rowe 7+1, Kyle Howarth 6+1, Nick Morris 3, Joe Thompson 2+1, Connor Mountain 2, Dan Thompson 2.
Abandoned after Heat 10 (rain) – Result stands
Leicester win 94-56 on aggregate.

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