Tuesday May 24, 2022
LEICESTER’S youngsters moved up to second place in the National Development League with an excellent 50-40 win at Plymouth.

The Lion Cubs dominated the second half of the meeting at the Coliseum to take all four league points in their first away victory of the season.

They put in a strong all-round display with Dan Thompson winning his first three rides, Connor Coles again hitting double figures, and Mickie Simpson sharing in three Cubs 5-1s.

The first of those came in a three-times re-started Heat 1 which saw home No.1 guest Alfie Bowtell disqualified for bringing Thompson down as they battled going into the second lap.

The hosts levelled briefly as Vinnie Foord and Tom Spencer suffered early disqualifications, but both recovered as the night went on – and with the scores at 18-18 after six rides, Spencer got the better of Adam Extance in a fierce Heat 7 scrap to join Coles for a 5-1.

The Cubs quicky doubled their advantage through Foord and Simpson over ex-Leicester rider Ben Trigger in Heat 8, although as the meeting developed it was Trigger along with Bowtell who provided the best resistance for the Centurions.

However, Coles superbly headed Bowtell home in Heat 10, and the Cubs virtually secured the win with another Thompson/Simpson maximum in the next, Simpson going past Extance on the third lap.

The hosts threatened to pull points back in Heat 12 but Richard Andrews quickly slowed, and the Cubs were content to pack in for shared races to protect their advantage before Spencer took a fine win over his old Heat 14 colleague Trigger in the penultimate race.

That result officially confirmed all four league points for the Cubs, with the Centurions taking a consolation 4-2 in Heat 15 as Thompson split Bowtell and Trigger.

Manager Dave Howard said: “It was a pretty incident-packed meeting to start with, with falls here and there, but it was a great performance by everybody.

“It wasn’t just the gating, it was the passing as well, and I’m delighted to get the four points.

“Early on we could have been even further in front because we had a couple of offs – I think when we were two up, we could have been ten up by that point, but the way everybody kept their heads up and pushed on to grab the four league points was terrific, because away wins are so valuable.

“Dan and Joe gave great performances again, and Connor continued his great start to the season for us. Tom had some really strong rides and overtakes, and Mickie had three paid wins, and a great overtake of Adam Extance to get a 5-1.

“Vinnie got a race win again, and Kai (Ward) as well gave his all at reserve, and there’s just such a togetherness in the team with everybody helping each other, and the mechanics all helping other riders as well.

“It’s great to get a strong start to the season, three wins out of four, ten points from four matches, and this will give everybody even more confidence with meetings coming thick and fast over the next few weeks.”

The Cubs now have a ten-day break ahead of a busy Jubilee weekend of June 4/5 when they face away and home clashes with leaders Berwick, with both matches to be staged as double headers following the Championship fixtures between the clubs.

PLYMOUTH 40: Ben Trigger 13, Alfie Bowtell 11, Richard Andrews 6, Adam Extance 4, Ben Phillips 3+2, Connor King 2, Eli Meadows 1
LEICESTER 50: Dan Thompson 13, Connor Coles 10, Joe Thompson 8+1, Mickie Simpson 6+3, Tom Spencer 6+1, Vinnie Foord 5+1, Kai Ward 2
NDL Points: Plymouth 0 Leicester 4

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