LION CUBS 55 MIDDLESBROUGH 35

21/04/2024

LION CUBS 55 MIDDLESBROUGH 35

LEICESTER made it three wins out of three in the WSRA National Development League by overcoming Middlesbrough 55-35 on Sunday.

The Lion Cubs are top of the early league table with a 100 per cent record and they put in another solid all-round performance to see off the Tigers.

To the visitors’ credit they kept things close especially in the early stages, winning three of the first five races, but the Lion Cubs then struck a hat-trick of mid-meeting 5-1s to put the match beyond their opponents.

Once again there was impressive strength in depth shown by the home side, with reserves Luke Crang and Sonny Springer totalling 18 (paid 19) between them.

The Tigers were well served by Jake Mulford with four wins at No.1 before he was relegated to third place in Heat 15, whilst former Lion Cubs racer Ben Trigger won his first ride and then took the honours in the finale.

There were some early mechanical issues for the Cubs with Vinnie Ford exceeding the time allowance in Heat 1 whilst a 5-1 became a 4-2 on the last lap of Heat 2 as Crang hit trouble.

But the Cubs doubled their margin in the next race when Arran Butcher got the better of Jamie Halder, and they led 17-13 after five heats.

It was in the next three races when they really took charge as Foord teamed up with captain Joe Thompson for a 5-1 over Trigger in Heat 6, backed up by Crang and Max James in an eventful Heat 7 which saw a series of re-starts and Tigers captain Danny Phillips going from the 15-metre handicap.

Springer and Foord extended the gap to 16 points with another 5-1 in Heat 8 and a great ride by Tom Spencer saw him get the better of Trigger in Heat 9.

The run of advantages ended in the next when Foord was adjudged to have caused Phillips to fall just as he was coming through for a potential 5-1, and the Leicester rider was disqualified.

Springer also picked up an unfortunate disqualification after seemingly overcoming Phillips in Heat 12, but the Cubs did move their lead above the 20-point mark with a 5-1 from Crang and Butcher in Heat 14.

The Tigers looked set for a consolation maximum in the last, but Thompson split Trigger and Mulford and just missed out on snatching the race win.

Leicester manager Dave Howard said: “It was quite close in the first five heats but then we got three 5-1s and a 4-2 in the next four, which gave us a big lead which we kept to the end of the meeting.

“Everybody had some really good rides, everybody had wins or paid wins, so it was another really good team performance.

“We’ve got two more home matches in May, so we want to get good wins out of those to put us in a good position for when we do most of our away meetings.”

LEICESTER 55: Joe Thompson 12, Luke Crang 10+1, Tom Spencer 9, Sonny Springer 8, Arran Butcher 7+2, Vinnie Foord 4+2, Max James 4.
MIDDLESBROUGH 35: Jake Mulford 13, Ben Trigger 9, Jamie Halder 5+1, Danny Phillips 4, William Hocaniuk 3+1, Ben Rathbone 1, Jamie Etherington 0.

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July 18, 2024 19.30

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