LEICESTER’S new-look side added two more points to their Sports Insure Premiership tally on a dramatic night of Speedway at Wolverhampton.

Despite being eight ahead with nine races gone, the Watling JCB Lions were pegged back for a 45-45 draw at Monmore Green.

And that was before they were edged out in the Super Heat when newly appointed captain Max Fricke crashed out on the very last bend.

After a 30 minute delay while remedial track work was carried out following heavy rain in the West Midlands over the weekend, it was the Lions who made the brighter start.

Despite Wolverhampton usually being dominant around their home circuit, it was Stewart Dickson’s men who won the opening five races in the Black Country.

After Fricke took the chequered flag in an opening shared heat, Leicester almost nipped ahead in Heat Two as they looked set for a 5-1 in the battle of the reserves.

But as Drew Kemp crossed the finishing line, team-mate Jake Allen lifted violently on the last bend, allowing Wolves to come through for second and third.

Debutant Richie Worrall charged underneath Ryan Douglas on the entry to lap three to claim his first win back in Lions colours in the third before Richard Lawson won Heat Four.

Heat Five did see the Lions take the lead when Justin Sedgmen led a 4-2 with Fricke.

Despite the hosts earning their first two race winners in Heats Six and Seven, they were unable to close the gap with Allen and Lawson and then Worrall and Craig Cook packing in for second and third.

But with Kemp and Sedgmen adding a 4-2 and then Allen and Lawson striking the first maximum of the night, the Lions moved into a 31-23 lead after nine races.

The hosts responded immediately with their only 5-1 in Heat Ten and were back within two when Fricke could only split the Wolves duo of Zach Cook and Rory Schlein in Heat 11.

Fricke replied with his second race win of the night in Heat 13 - but when Masters lifted off bend four, that allowed Lawson to snatch third on the run to the line to seal the aggregate point for the Lions.

A Heat 14 4-2 from Wolves ensured a last heat decider and when they repeated that feat in Heat 15, the Super Heat was confirmed.

While Masters cleared off out front, Fricke sat in second but looked behind to see Schlein putting pressure on Worrall for the all important third place.

And as Fricke tried to hog the inside to allow a path for Worrall around the outside, the Lions No.1 was caught out by the track and gifted the extra point to the hosts.

Team boss Stewart Dickson said: “It was a night full of drama.

“Wolves came back into it and when they got gates one and three in the Super Heat, they were certainly advantageous over two and four for most of the meeting.

“We were in the right place with 30 yards or so to go and then disaster struck when Max hit a bit on the track - but the most important thing is that he’s ok.

“They came back and got their reward, they got the draw but we’ve also got two points in our pocket to take back to Leicester - and that’s quite important considering Ipswich won away at Peterborough.”

The result leaves Leicester sitting joint second in the current standings, four points ahead of Ipswich and seven ahead of Sheffield who sit just outside the play-off zone.

The Watling JCB Lions hit the road again this Thursday (August 10, 7.30) when they face a key clash against Sheffield - a venue they have already tasted success at this season.

WOLVERHAMPTON 45: Rory Schlein 11, Sam Masters 9, Luke Becker 7+1, Steve Worrall 5+2, Ryan Douglas 5, Zach Cook 4+1, Leon Flint 4+1.
LEICESTER 45: Max Fricke 11, Jake Allen 8+1, Richie Worrall 8, Richard Lawson 7+2, Drew Kemp 6, Justin Sedgmen 4, Craig Cook 1+1.
Wolverhampton beat Leicester 6-3 in Super Heat
Leicester win the aggregate point

Photo credit: STEVE FEENEY

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