Sunday May 15, 2022
LEICESTER youngster Max Perry suffered a broken collarbone in Heat 2 of Sunday’s 50-40 defeat at Kent.

Perry, who had made such an impressive debut for the Lion Cubs at home to Belle Vue on Saturday, came to grief in his opening ride at Iwade when he clipped the rear wheel of home rider Chris Watts and landed heavily on his shoulder.

Hospital x-rays confirmed the break to his left collarbone with initial estimates suggesting a period of six weeks out of action, although thankfully he escaped any further injuries.

There was a lengthy delay to the meeting whilst Perry was attended to, and when the action re-commenced it meant a gruelling seven-ride stint for Vinnie Foord, who collected his first race win for the club in that Heat 2.

The Lion Cubs battled away against a side with one of the strongest NDL spearheads, with home No.1 Alfie Bowtell carding a 15-point maximum, whilst Ben Morley weighed in with paid-12.

But the key contribution from the hosts came from Joe Alcock, who fell in his first ride trying to split Connor Coles and Tom Spencer, but then won his remaining three outings – which included wins over both Dan and Joe Thompson.

The Royals took the lead for the first time in Heat 5, and a run of three 4-2s in five races took them into a six-point advantage.

But the Lion Cubs fought back strongly with Dan Thompson getting the better of Morley in Heat 11 and Mickie Simpson supplying third place, and a further 4-2 followed from Coles and Foord in Heat 12.

But with the gap at two points, disaster struck in Heat 13 when Joe Thompson fell on the second lap after a hard scrap with the Royals pairing, and the home side took a 5-1 in the re-run as brother Dan was edged out by Bowtell and Morley.

At that point the Cubs’ most realistic target was to take a league point, but Alcock rode well to defeat Spencer in Heat 14 for a Royals 4-2, and they repeated that result in the finale as Bowtell won from Dan Thompson with Morley third ahead of Coles.

Manager Dave Howard said: “Obviously losing Max in his first ride was a big blow, he was challenging for the position when he came down, and we’re all so sad for him after such a good start on Saturday.

“Then we had another race stopped when we were on a 5-1 early on in Heat 3, so that was unfortunate as well.

“Overall we got really close, we were only 37-35 down and well in touch, but their home advantage did show, and they’re strong on their own track.

“There were times when Dan for example was behind Bowtell and was picking up so much speed on the straight, but he just couldn’t get by.

“But everybody put in massive effort and gave everything they’d got, and a special mention for Vinnie who had to take seven rides which obviously was very tiring, but he got his first win for us which was great.”

The Cubs will now need to assess their options to cover for Perry ahead of another busy weekend which starts with Friday’s re-arranged trip to Belle Vue.

KENT 50: Alfie Bowtell 15, Ben Morley 11+1, Joe Alcock 9, Danno Verge 6, Sam Woolley 4+1, Jamie Halder 3, Chris Watts 2.
LEICESTER 40: Dan Thompson 10, Connor Coles 10, Vinnie Foord 6, Tom Spencer 5+2, Joe Thompson 5+1, Mickie Simpson 4+1, Max Perry 0.

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