LEICESTER stage their biggest meeting in three years on Saturday (7pm) with the visit of Poole in the first leg of the Championship Grand Final.

The onus is now on the Watling JCB Lions to build up a lead on their own circuit after the original first leg at Wimborne Road on Friday was postponed and re-arranged for next Wednesday.

Stewart Dickson’s side boast a 100 per cent home record this season but the Pirates have been amongst the strongest of opponents.

On Easter Saturday an eventful league match went down to a last-heat decider before the Lions won 48-42 after a clash on the third bend between Richie Worrall and Danny King, for which the Poole skipper was disqualified.

And more recently, the Pirates produced a solid defence in the KO Cup resulting in the Lions taking just a 46-44 victory, which proved not to be enough in the second leg for overall progression.

Key to Poole’s recent run of success has been the dramatic increase in scoring from Ben and Zach Cook in support of their established top three.

And the Lions therefore know they need to fully perform as a unit if they are to overturn the defending champions over two legs and stage a repeat of the club’s 2019 title triumph.

No.1 Nick Morris said: “We know what we can do, and we’re going to need to be at the top of our game. It’s not going to be easy but it’s all to play for, and we’ll fight to the end.

“We’ve definitely got the belief. When you’ve got two good teams like this, crucial things can happen and little mistakes from each team can be costly.

“We need to be on it and we need things to go our way, and let’s hope it does.”

With a big crowd expected, including plenty of travelling support from Poole, fans are advised to arrive a little earlier than normal if possible. Season tickets are not valid for this meeting, but normal raceday admission prices apply.

LEICESTER: Nick Morris, Connor Mountain, Richie Worrall, Dan Thompson, Kyle Howarth, Joe Thompson, Max Clegg.
POOLE: Danny King, Ben Cook, Steve Worrall, Drew Kemp, Richard Lawson, Zach Cook, Nathan Ablitt.

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Leicester Lions V Ipswich Witches
July 18, 2024 19.30

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