SATURDAY DOUBLE HEADER PREVIEW

25/08/2023

SATURDAY DOUBLE HEADER PREVIEW

LEICESTER stage a huge double header at the Pidcock Motorcycles Arena, Beaumont Park on Saturday (6.30pm) with both of their teams chasing the play-offs.

The action gets underway with a Sports Insure Premiership clash between the Watling JCB Lions and Sheffield, followed by the battle of the top two in the NDL as the Lion Cubs meet the Oxford Chargers.

Lions start the weekend outside the play-off places, behind the Tigers on race points difference, and both teams have four matches in hand on Ipswich.

With the Witches expected to win their last match at King’s Lynn, Leicester and Sheffield both need a maximum of six more points to guarantee their place in the play-offs.

The Lions can take a big step towards that target this weekend, but they face a strong Tigers side who include treble World Champion Tai Woffinden for a rare appearance at Beaumont Park.

And although No.1 Tobiasz Musielak is absent due to his Polish Division One play-off fixture for Ostrow taking place on Saturday, the visitors have called in a more than capable guest in Ryan Douglas who was in terrific form when he visited with Wolverhampton last week.

Sheffield are also without Adam Ellis who missed their win over Wolves on Thursday with shoulder trouble, whilst Jason Edwards replaces the injured Dan Gilkes at reserve.

The Lions declare a full one-to-seven with manager Stewart Dickson switching Richie Worrall and Craig Cook, the latter moving to No.2 to partner captain Max Fricke, whilst Worrall takes the No.5 berth.

Sheffield hold the advantage for the aggregate point following their 54-36 win when the sides met at Owlerton earlier this month.

Dickson said: “We always said this season was about making the top four, and I never played that down even when we reached the dizzy heights of second at one time.

“We’ve been hanging on, and now we need to get a couple of home wins to get us into fourth place.

“I know teams will look at our recent home results and feel they’ve got a chance, I’d be doing the same myself, and certainly nobody is going to help us in this situation.

“We need to roll up our sleeves and say that for the next team coming here, which is Sheffield, we’re not losing again.”

There is no increase to regular Premiership admission prices on Saturday despite the double header, and gates open at 5pm.

Additionally, the club have produced one programme to cover both Bank Holiday meetings (including Monday) which will feature all three racecards, for the normal price of £3.

LEICESTER: Max Fricke, Craig Cook, Richard Lawson, Justin Sedgmen, Richie Worrall, Jake Allen, Drew Kemp.
SHEFFIELD: Ryan Douglas, Adam Ellis r/r, Josh Pickering, Kyle Howarth, Tai Woffinden, Lewis Kerr, Jason Edwards.

*Following the Sports Insure Premiership clash, the Leicester Lion Cubs take centre stage in arguably their toughest home meeting since they joined the National Development League.

Dave Howard’s side boast a proud unbeaten record on their own circuit but are expecting a difficult test against the in-form Oxford Chargers.

The Cowley side lead the table having won their last eight matches, and the odds at this stage are on this being a dress rehearsal for the Grand Final – although both sides do still need points to claim a top two finish.

The Cubs bring in former Lions racer Max Clegg to guest at No.1 for the injured Dan Thompson, whilst the Chargers are at full strength and boast a strong heat-leader trio led by skipper Jordan Jenkins and Henry Atkins, the latter being one of the most improved riders of 2023.

They also have talented teenager Luke Killeen still at reserve after missing several fixtures this year, although he will move into their top five before the play-offs.

Oxford also bring an 11-point lead with them for the aggregate point after the Lion Cubs suffered a catalogue of misfortune in wet conditions when the sides met at Cowley in May.

Howard said: “Whilst we are currently in the top two after great performances by all of our team with four successive away league wins, there is no doubt that the strong Oxford Chargers are the biggest rivals to us.

“It’s a massive meeting for us as we look to keep our home record going and retain a top two position to the end of the regular season.

“We will be giving everything to fight for the win and challenge as hard as we can for the aggregate point too if possible.”

LEICESTER: Max Clegg, Ashton Boughen, Max Perry, Max James, Joe Thompson, Vinnie Foord, Tom Spencer.
OXFORD: Jordan Jenkins, Jacob Clouting, Ryan Kinsley, Jody Scott, Henry Atkins, Luke Killeen, Jason Garrad.

Next Home Meeting

Leicester Cubs V Scunthorpe Stags / Sheffield Prowlers
May 19, 2024

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