LEICESTER pulled off their first away win of the National Development League campaign with an excellent 47-43 result at Edinburgh on Saturday.

Youngster Max James was the hero for the Lion Cubs as he racked up an incredible 15+1 score from seven rides, which would actually have been even more but for a fall on the last bend of Heat 14.

That enabled the Cubs to cover for the absence of injury victim Tom Spencer, and with major points also coming from Dan Thompson at No.1 and Ashton Boughen chipping in with paid-11, the visitors were able to take victory despite a 15-point maximum from new home No.1 Max Clegg.

James appeared in six of the first ten races as manager Dave Howard worked to find the best way to deploy his resources, and after losing out to Dayle Wood in Heat 2, James then reeled off an amazing four unbeaten rides on the spin.

That included a big 5-1 with skipper Joe Thompson over heat-leader guest Danny Phillips in Heat 4 to put the Cubs ahead, and another maximum with Max Perry in Heat 7 when Phillips came to grief.

But before that, James had taken a brilliant win in Heat 3 after Perry had fallen, as he first got the better of former Leicester rider Mickie Simpson and then charged inside Adam Roynon on the second lap to take the advantage.

James also linked up with Boughen for maximum points in Heat 8 to put the Cubs eight points up, Boughen quickly recovering from a Heat 8 spill – having also won the latest round of the British Youth 500cc Championship at Redcar earlier in the day.

When Dan Thompson and Boughen got the better of Phillips in Heat 11, the gap was ten points but victory wasn’t quite ensured as Roynon and Simpson hit back with a 5-1 to the Monarchs Academy in Heat 12, before the Thompson twins importantly shared Heat 13 even though Dan lost out to a good ride by Clegg.

Six points up, the Cubs wanted to seal the deal in Heat 14 and they did so at the third attempt with the race stopped due to first-bend incidents involving Simpson. When things did get going, it looked like another 5-1 only for James to lose it on the last bend – but Boughen confirmed overall victory by taking the race win.

As it turned out, the home side were limited to a 4-2 in the final race meaning the Cubs came away with a thoroughly deserve four-point victory.

Howard said: “Max James had the meeting of his career so far, and it was an absolutely incredible performance by him.

“He won races by coming from behind, and later on in the meeting he won from the gate as well. He was just so confident on this track, he said he’d ridden it a couple of times before and liked it, but the way he went round people, and he beat Adam Roynon from the back, was fantastic and he’s coming on so fast.

“Everybody gave everything and to get the first away win was great, and really good for the whole team spirit.

“Ashton had raced earlier in the day but after his first couple of rides he was shooting out of the start and looked so quick, Dan and Joe as always were there giving us the backbone of the whole team, and although Max Perry had a couple of unfortunate first turns, his points were vital as well towards the win.

“It was a fantastic performance from the team to get us on the way to moving up the table.”

The Lion Cubs will have the chance for three points when they host the Monarchs Academy in the reverse fixture at the Pidcock Motorcycles Arena, Beaumont Park next Saturday (June 24).

EDINBURGH 43: Max Clegg 15, Adam Roynon 11, Dayle Wood 7+1, Mickie Simpson (no.8) 6+2, Kyran Lyden 2, Mark Parker 1+1, Danny Phillips 1, Alex Spooner r/r.
LEICESTER 47: Max James 15+1, Dan Thompson 12, Ashton Boughen 9+2, Joe Thompson 7+2, Max Perry 4+2, Owen Booth 0, Tom Spencer r/r.

Photo credit: JACK CUPIDO

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