LEICESTER picked up a league point from a thrilling Premiership contest with Belle Vue – but were unable to covert a 45-45 draw into a Super Heat victory.

The Watling JCB Lions led the Aces by six points with two races remaining, but the Aces conjured a big finish to level the scores after Heat 15, which took the meeting into an additional decider for the extra league point.

And in that race the visitors took full advantage of gate positions as Dan Bewley and former Lions man Ryan Douglas got the better of Nick Morris and Richard Lawson heading into the first bend, and from then there was no way back.

The Lions had worked hard to establish a lead in the main meeting, having been hit by mechanical setbacks for Max Fricke in Heat 1 and Lawson in Heat 3, the latter falling on turn two as a result, but there was a super 5-1 from reserves Dan Thompson and Jake Allen in Heat 2.

Skipper Chris Harris initially headed Charles Wright in Heat 3 but the Belle Vue man pulled off a fine ride to take the lead, and it gave the Aces a two-point lead which they held until Heat 7.

Morris superbly rounded Wright in that race with Allen supplying third place to bring the scores level, which remained the case as Norick Blodorn held off Justin Sedgmen in Heat 8, the Australian having been a fine winner of his second ride.

The Lions hit the front with a super 5-1 in Heat 9 as Harris held off the challenge of Douglas whilst protecting team-mate Lawson, and Fricke got his night started with a fast win in Heat 10.

Morris kept the four-point advantage in Leicester’s favour by repelling every threat from Bewley in Heat 11, and there was a third successive 3-3 in the next as Lawson took the flag ahead of Jaimon Lidsey and Tom Brennan.

Heat 13 was a cracker with Fricke overcoming Douglas in the closest of battles whilst Morris kept Bewley at the back – which left the scores at 42-36 and meant the Aces could use a tactical substitute in the penultimate race.

Douglas was the man introduced by Mark Lemon, and he and Wright brought their side right back into the meeting with a 5-1 from the gate against Harris, cutting the gap back to two points.

Lions looked like they could edge the meeting in the decider when Morris took the lead, but he was brilliantly passed by Bewley around the outside, and attention then switched to the scrap for third place where Fricke moved inside Douglas only to immediately be re-passed by the Aces’ guest.

That left the scores at 45-45, with one league point apiece at that stage, but Bewley and Douglas stormed from gates 1 and 3 in the Super Heat decider to leave the Lions somewhat frustrated.

Manager Stewart Dickson said: “When you’re six points up with two races to go you fancy yourselves, but we knew if we got an advantage in Heat 13 we could go six ahead and they would get a tactical.

“But you can’t say to the guys ‘don’t,’ and obviously the plan was to try and get a 5-1 which would have put us eight points ahead.

“I hate saying it but you’ve got to give credit to the away team. If it had been me, and my team had managed to pull six points back in the last two races, I’d have been jumping for joy.

“Ultimately it came down to the coin toss, they won the coin toss and got gates one and three which were much more advantageous than two and four, which is something we need to get sorted because that’s not normally the case here.

“All in all it was a decent meeting, the track rode a wee bit slicker than I thought it would, but there are no excuses. It was a good, close contest and we get a point – but we wanted the other point as well!”

The Watling JCB Lions are back in action at Wolverhampton on Monday, with the next meeting at the Pidcock Motorcycles Arena, Beaumont Park seeing them take on King’s Lynn next Thursday (April 27).

LEICESTER 45: Nick Morris 11, Richard Lawson 7+1, Chris Harris 7+1, Max Fricke 6, Justin Sedgmen 6, Dan Thompson 5+2, Jake Allen 3+1.
BELLE VUE 45: Ryan Douglas 11+1, Dan Bewley 11, Charles Wright 8+2, Norick Blodorn 6+2, Tom Brennan 4+1, Jaimon Lidsey 4, Jake Mulford 1.
Belle Vue beat Leicester 7-2 in Super Heat
Premiership points: Leicester 1 Belle Vue 2

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