LEICESTER’S Easter focus is on starting a run in the KO Cup – starting with a tough tie against Ipswich at home on Monday (7.30pm).

The Witches are the current holders of the silverware and defeated the Watling JCB Lions over two legs at the equivalent stage of the competition last year.

On this occasion the Lions have the first leg at the Pidcock Motorcycles Arena, Beaumont Park, and the aim will be to build up an advantage to take to Foxhall on Thursday.

But that will be far from easy with the Witches again led by their super-strong spearhead of Emil Sayfutdinov and Jason Doyle, whilst two former British Champions in Danny King and Adam Ellis appear in their middle order.

There will also be a fascinating clash at reserve with Dan Thompson having started the season well in the Rising Star berth, whilst the Lions’ Joe Thompson will look to get the better of his twin brother.

Ipswich have started the season with two home wins in the ROWE Motor Oil Premiership, although they were given a scare by Birmingham last Thursday in a meeting which saw Sayfutdinov suffer two uncharacteristic crashes.

The Lions have not raced since their opening win over King’s Lynn, and manager Stewart Dickson names an unchanged line-up to face the Witches.

Several of their riders have been involved in meetings elsewhere, with Richard Lawson scoring a 15-point maximum for Poole in their BSN Series win over Oxford on Good Friday.
Dickson said: “It’s a really tough draw for us, because for me Ipswich are probably my pick out of all of the teams.

“I would like a run in the KO Cup this year. Both teams will know Birmingham are waiting in the semi-final, and whilst that’s in no way an automatic pass into the Final, it’s certainly an opportunity.

“We need to take some sort of a lead down there from Monday night, and I’ll be leaving my riders in no doubt that we would like a Cup run.

“It’s a really attractive fixture. We saw last year how good it was to watch Ipswich when they came, we had some good tough meetings against them, and I’m sure Monday will be no different.”

Supporters are reminded that with this being a KO Cup fixture, season tickets are not valid. As a seasonal treat, the first 100 children into the stadium will receive a free Easter egg.

The meeting will also be streamed live on Lions TV for those who cannot make it on the night – passes can be purchased from https://www.leicesterlionstv.com/ .

LEICESTER: Max Fricke, Richard Lawson, Sam Masters, Luke Becker, Ryan Douglas, Drew Kemp, Joe Thompson.
IPSWICH: Emil Sayfutdinov, Jordan Jenkins, Danny King, Adam Ellis, Jason Doyle, Keynan Rew, Dan Thompson.

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Leicester Lions V Ipswich Witches
July 18, 2024 19.30

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