Saturday July 30, 2022
LEICESTER defeated Redcar 51-39 at the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena to keep their hopes of reaching the Championship Jubilee League Final very much alive.

Nick Morris scored a four-ride paid maximum in what was a largely comfortable victory for the Watling JCB Lions, with a late rally from the Bears meaning the scores from the home and away meetings between the sides in this competition were equal.

But the crucial factor is the that the Lions took a point from their trip to Scunthorpe, which the Bears failed to do on Friday.

And that means if Redcar can do Leicester a favour by beating Scunthorpe at home on Friday, the Lions can then secure qualification with a win over the Scorpions next Saturday.

The clash with the Bears was essentially won by the Lions in the first seven heats, during which time they raced into a 28-14 lead.

Reserves Joe Thompson and Max Clegg took maximum points in Heat 2, with the visitors’ sole success in that period coming from guest Justin Sedgmen in Heat 3 – but he could only add two more points thereafter and was on the receiving end of a 5-1 against Clegg and Kyle Howarth in Heat 7.

A Redcar fightback looked possible when youngsters Jason Edwards and Jordan Jenkins reduced the gap to ten points with a well-ridden 5-1 in Heat 8, especially with a tactical substitute in play in the next race.

But after Charles Wright and Lewis Kerr appeared to have established a good position on the opening lap, Kerr fell on the third bend resulting in a shared race – and the Lions banged in a 5-1 of their own in Heat 10 with Connor Mountain fast from the start and Morris re-passing Sedgmen after lifting coming out of turn four.

Another maximum advantage followed in Heat 12 courtesy of Richie Worrall and Joe Thompson over Sedgmen, making it 45-27, but Redcar did respond in the closing stages.

Wright and Kerr squeezed out Howarth to end the Lions skipper’s unbeaten run in Heat 13, whilst Jenkins produced a fine ride to pass Dan Thompson in Heat 14 and team up with Kasper Andersen for a consolation 5-1.

And Kerr got the better of Worrall in the early stages of Heat 15 for a Redcar 4-2 after Howarth had been disqualified for touching the tapes.

Leicester boss Stewart Dickson said: “It was a comfortable win, although a couple of big advantages for Redcar kept us on our toes.

“But I don’t think the result was ever in doubt at any point in the meeting. Our heat leaders were pretty dominant, and most of our boys chipped in with a good paid win here and there.

“I could be picky and say we shouldn’t be losing heat advantages in certain races, but that might be disrespectful of Redcar, because they made a fist of it and all in all it wasn’t a bad meeting.”

LEICESTER 51: Nick Morris 11+1, Richie Worrall 11+1, Kyle Howarth 9, Joe Thompson 6+1, Connor Mountain 6, Max Clegg 4+2, Dan Thompson 4+1.
REDCAR 39: Charles Wright 12, Lewis Kerr 8+1, Jason Edwards 5+2, Jordan Jenkins 5+2, Justin Sedgmen 5, Kasper Andersen 4, Kyle Bickley 0.

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