LEICESTER welcome back skipper Joe Thompson for their NDL trip to Berwick on Saturday – just as his twin brother Dan is ruled out himself.

Joe has been on the sidelines since suffering a badly broken collarbone in a crash at Edinburgh seven weeks ago, and his return also coincides with the comeback of Tom Spencer who broke his arm at Workington a fortnight earlier.

The Cubs had therefore been due to return to full strength at Shielfield Park, only for Dan Thompson – who has been in spectacular form of late – to suffer a dislocated shoulder when he was brought down in Heat 2 at Ipswich on Thursday.

Thompson had the shoulder put back in when he visited hospital, and is now awaiting further news on his likely period of absence.

In his place, the Lion Cubs have called up a Berwick track specialist in Lee Complin to race at No.1, as they look to consolidate their position at the top of the NDL table.

On the face of it, the trip to the border venue offers a good chance to do just that, with Bewick in bottom place with just one win in eleven matches.

However, the Bullets have significantly strengthened in recent weeks with the signing of the experienced Steve Boxall to replace Josh Embleton, and the home side now look to be a far more dangerous all-round unit.

The aggregate point is also in the balance as the Lion Cubs are only five points up from a 47-42 home win at the very beginning of the season when they suffered numerous problems and eventually did enough for victory.

And with a tough run-in to come – including home matches against fellow contenders Oxford and Mildenhall, and a trip to fortress Belle Vue – anything the Cubs can take from Shielfield Park will be crucial in the race for the top two.

The match is the second half of a double header following the Cab Direct Championship encounter between Berwick and Birmingham – with start time for the Lion Cubs expected to be around 8.30pm.

BERWICK: Connor Coles, Greg Blair, Jamie Halder, Danny Phillips, Steve Boxall, Kieran Douglas, Mason Watson.
LEICESTER: Lee Complin, Ashton Boughen, Max Perry, Max James, Joe Thompson, Vinnie Foord, Tom Spencer.

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Leicester Lions V Ipswich Witches
July 18, 2024 19.30

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