LIONS 53 SHEFFIELD 37

22/05/2023

LIONS 53 SHEFFIELD 37

LEICESTER showed their all-round strength in front of the TV cameras with a superb 53-37 win over highly fancied Sheffield at the Pidcock Motorcycles Arena, Beaumont Park.

The Watling JCB Lions fired as an all-round unit and raced to a comfortable victory and two Sports Insure Premiership points, marred only by an horrific Heat 15 spill for Richard Lawson.

The Lions heat-leader, who had only dropped one point from his first four rides, tangled with the Tigers’ Tobiasz Musielak going into the second lap and both crashed heavily.

Lawson was disqualified by the referee and although both riders walked away – and Musielak completed the re-run – the Lions will await an update on his fitness on their rider ahead of Thursday’s trip to Ipswich.

The visitors were limited to six heat wins all evening as the likes of Lawson and Max Fricke dominated, with the Australian once again proving supremely powerful in the No.1 position.

Fricke and Justin Sedgmen got the Lions off to a super start with a 5-1 over Jack Holder and ex-Leicester captain Kyle Howarth in Heat 1, and the fast opening for the home side kept on going with three successive 4-2s – which could have been more but for some late overtakes by Sheffield duo Musielak and Adam Ellis.

Mid-meeting saw the gap between the sides held at ten points before Tigers’ Rising Star reserve Dan Gilkes rode well to win Heat 8 – but Sedgmen prevented a 1-5 reverse by taking advantage of a mistake by Howarth on the last bend to snatch second place.

And the Lions then took a full grip on the meeting with back-to-back 5-1s, first from Lawson and Chris Harris over Ellis in Heat 9 and then Sedgmen and Fricke sensationally wrecked Sheffield’s tactical substitute attempt with maximum points over Musielak and Holder.

That essentially put the match to bed, although Nick Morris had to be strong in Heat 11 to split Holder and Howarth, and Morris then combined with Fricke for a classy 5-1 in Heat 13 as Holder and Ellis were left trailing.

Sheffield again held a 5-1 position in Heat 14 only for Harris to go inside Lewis Kerr and force an error which enabled Jake Allen to follow him through, whilst the re-run of the final race after Lawson’s crash saw Fricke finally beaten as Holder and Musielak gained some consolation for the visitors.

Lions boss Stewart Dickson said: “If you’d offered us 53 points before the meeting started, we would certainly have taken that. I had us down to win, but I didn’t have us down to win by that margin.

“But now we have Max leading from the front as a No.1, and that instils confidence right through the team, and we had a lot of race winners tonight.

“It wasn’t so much conceding a 5-1 in Heat 15 that took the shine off it a bit, it was the incident with Richard.

“Something had to give, and if you want to be picky I was surprised he was disqualified, but really I’m more interested in Richard than the decision, because he did look groggy afterwards.”

LEICESTER 53: Max Fricke 12+1, Richard Lawson 10+1, Nick Morris 9+1, Justin Sedgmen 7+1, Chris Harris 7+1, Jake Allen 5+2, Dan Thompson 3.
SHEFFIELD 37: Tobiasz Musielak 11+1, Jack Holder 11, Lewis Kerr 6, Adam Ellis 4+1, Dan Gilkes 3, Kyle Howarth 2, David Bellego 0.

Next Home Meeting

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

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