LEICESTER skipper Kyle Howarth says the team can be proud of their achievements this season – but now they want to take one more step.

Howarth leads the Watling JCB Lions into this weekend’s Championship Grand Final with the in-form Poole Pirates standing in their way.

The first leg takes place at Wimborne Road on Friday with the return at the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena on Saturday (7pm) being one of the biggest meetings since the sport returned to the city in 2011.

Lions put together a brilliant league campaign to finish top of the table, completing a 100 per cent home record in the process, and they also won in Dorset during that stage of the competition, as well as seeing off Edinburgh home and away in the play-off semi-finals.

But there’s no doubt the Pirates have gained momentum through the summer and have run up a string of impressive home wins leading up to the Grand Final.

Howarth suffered disappointment at Premiership level with Sheffield when the Tigers were edged out in that league’s decider against Belle Vue last week – although they should pick up some consolation in the League Cup.

He said: “I think both teams have done a great job all year, finishing top of both leagues. We’ve stuck it out and finished on top.

“It’s a massive achievement, starting from March to now, and to reach the Grand Final is a great achievement for the club.

“It’s great for the promotion, the management and the sponsors, and for Stewart (Dickson), and for the lads as well it’s a big achievement, but now we want to go one step further.

“We know when we raced at Poole in the KO Cup semi-final they had way too much for us, and as a team we didn’t ride anywhere near the level you need at this time of year. We had a good long, honest chat after that meeting.

“We know the Final will be tough, and anything can happen in speedway. We’ve come all this way and we don’t want to lose.”

Tickets for Saturday’s second leg are available from with normal prices applying. Season tickets are not valid for this meeting.

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Leicester Lions V Ipswich Witches
July 18, 2024 19.30

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