LEICESTER will welcome back No.1 Dan Thompson for the second leg of the NDL Knockout Cup Final as they look to secure silverware against Mildenhall on Saturday (7pm).

Thompson has been out since mid-August with a dislocated shoulder sustained in a crash whilst racing for Ipswich in the Premiership, but after a successful practice session at the Pidcock Motorcycles Arena, Beaumont Park this week, he has been declared fit to return.

It’s a major boost for the Lion Cubs, who are aiming to complete a hat-trick of KO Cup triumphs when they take on the Fen Tigers before going into next week’s league title-deciding Grand Final against Oxford.

Leicester defeated Belle Vue to win the KO Cup in 2019, and with the competition not staged in 2021 as the season started late due to the effects of the pandemic, they retained the silverware against Mildenhall last October.

They start as strong favourites on Saturday with an 11-point advantage from last week’s first leg at West Row, but they will be guarding against complacency and also looking to keep their form going ahead of two more huge matches.

Elsewhere in the team, skipper Joe Thompson returns after missing the first leg due to Championship commitments, whilst Sam Woods steps in at reserve as Vinnie Foord is serving a mandatory concussion absence.

Mildenhall are without their No.1 Alfie Bowtell for the same reason, with Ben Morley coming in to guest, but skipper Lee Complin returns fresh from collecting a Championship league winner’s medal with Glasgow.

At reserve, the Fen Tigers track speedway returnee Andy Braithwaite, who previously appeared for Buxton and as a mascot at Coventry. Braithwaite replaces William Richardson, who suffered a broken leg in Sunday’s first leg.

Lion Cubs boss Dave Howard said: “It’s great news that we welcome back Dan, after Andy Hill kindly arranged a practice session for him on Tuesday.

“We will be giving everything to win the Knockout Cup for the third time, but we know Mildenhall will be giving their all to challenge us as hard as they can.

“So we will have to be ‘on it’ as a team with everything we have got if we want to retain the Cup.”

LEICESTER: Dan Thompson, Ashton Boughen, Max Perry, Tom Spencer, Joe Thompson, Sam Woods, Max James.
MILDENHALL: Ben Morley, Arran Butcher, Ben Trigger, George Congreve, Lee Complin, Andy Braithwaite, Sam Woolley.

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May 27, 2024

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