LION CUBS 61 MILDENHALL 28

29/09/2023

LION CUBS 61 MILDENHALL 28

LEICESTER completed their regular NDL campaign with their biggest win of the season – an emphatic 61-28 victory over Mildenhall.

The Lion Cubs were in blistering form at the Pidcock Motorcycles Arena as they sent out a big statement of intent ahead of next month’s Grand Final against Oxford, and another clash with the Fen Tigers in the KO Cup Final.

It was a hugely impressive performance from the home side with the visitors not enjoying the best of fortune but still putting in a real effort in excellent track conditions following the rain of Thursday.

The Cubs’ result was achieved without both Thompson twins, but they still took all but two of the race wins with both Max Perry and Ashton Boughen taking the flag four times apiece.

Perry reeled off wins in each of his first three rides including a great effort to defeat Fen Tigers No.1 Alfie Bowtell in Heat 5, a feat repeated by Boughen with a tremendous move on turn two in Heat 15.

And Bowtell also had his colours lowered by reserve Vinnie Foord in a fabulous Heat 11 with Foord roaring around the outside on the first two bends and then maintaining control to take one of the biggest scalps of his career.

Foord and Max James combined for the first 5-1 of the night in Heat 2, and James collected another paid win in Heat 4 when Fen Tigers skipper Lee Complin came to grief on turn three when chasing Max Clegg.

There was a fine scrap in Heat 3 between stand-in Cubs captain Tom Spencer and Mildenhall’s Ben Trigger, who was somewhat surprisingly awarded second place when it appeared that Spencer had held on for a 5-1 with Perry.

But that was balanced out in Heat 7 when Foord passed George Congreve for third place but was then awarded second at the expense of Trigger when it looked like the Mildenhall rider had done enough.

At that stage it was 32-10 to the Cubs, but the Fen Tigers shared the next two races partly because of James coming to grief in Heat 8 after a clash with Arran Butcher heading into the third bend, and Complin ended Perry’s unbeaten run in the next.

The Cubs recorded two more 5-1s in the next three races before Complin crashed heavily on the exit of turn two in Heat 13, fortunately walking away, and the re-run saw Foord come to grief as well when he lost a chain on the third bend.

At the third attempt Bowtell gave Mildenhall another race win after a race-long scrap with Clegg, who dropped his only point of an impressive guest appearance.

Foord was forced onto his second machine and lost out in Heat 14 as Spencer took the win, before Boughen rounded things off with a win in Heat 15 with Perry adding third place.

Manager Dave Howard said: “There was some really good racing and great performances by all the guys, so it keeps us in that positive mindset for the Cup Final and league Final to come.

“Vinnie was on a paid maximum from his first three rides and Max James again had some great rides, Ashton had a great meeting and Max Perry is just coming on so fast around this track.

“Tom Spencer got a really good win in his last race, and Max Clegg was really good as our guest at No.1, so it was a positive night for everybody and that’s what we want to take into the two Finals.”

Next up for the Lion Cubs is the first leg of the KO Cup Final at Mildenhall next Sunday (October 7) where their team news depends not only on Dan Thompson’s injury situation but also the schedule for the Championship Grand Final, which will only be confirmed after Glasgow’s home clash with Oxford on Tuesday.

Howard added: “Dan had a practice at Poole on Wednesday which went reasonably well but he’s still got to get some more physio to be able to race again, and to be able to cut back and so on, so we’ll have to see where he is over the next few days.

“I’ll be making some calls for potential guests for next week just in case the results go in a certain way in the Championship play-offs, but obviously if we can ride the same as we did tonight in the second leg of the Cup Final, that should put us in a really good position anyway.”

NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE
LEICESTER 61: Max Perry 15, Ashton Boughen 14, Max Clegg 12+2, Vinnie Foord 7+2, Max James 7+2, Tom Spencer 6+1, Joe Thompson r/r
MILDENHALL 28: Alfie Bowtell 11, Ben Trigger 5, Kai Ward 4+2, Lee Complin 4, Arran Butcher 2, George Congreve 2, William Richardson 0
Leicester win aggregate bonus point

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