LEICESTER will face a strengthened Oxford team in the second leg of their NDL play-off semi-final at the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena on Saturday (7pm).

The Lion Cubs trail by just two points after an excellent containing job at Cowley on Wednesday, but the Chargers are also in positive mood as they head into the second leg.

An impressive debut by 15-year-old Ashton Boughen saw him score 7+1 in his first appearance at this level, and Boughen will appear in Oxford colours once again on Saturday – despite previously having been announced as racing for Mildenhall in their semi-final at Berwick on the same evening, as a replacement for the injured Sam Bebee!

The Chargers will be without Sam Hagon who broke two fingers when he fell in Heat 15 of Wednesday’s meeting, and they have booked established heat-leader Adam Roynon to guest.

Roynon has achieved a near 9.00 average in his appearances for Plymouth since joining the Centurions in mid-season, but he remains on his 6.00 figure until Tuesday, making him eligible to replace Hagon who has an average of 6.18.

That gives the Chargers a powerful top end including NDL Riders’ Champion Jordan Jenkins at No.1 and Henry Atkins at No.5, with all riders eligible to take a rider replacement outing for the injured Nathan Stoneman.

And it means the Lion Cubs need to put in a strong display of their own in order to score the 47 points required to set up a Grand Final showdown against either the Bullets or the Fen Tigers.

Boss Dave Howard said: “It’s going to be a tough second leg, but the position we have to start from on our home track puts in a good place.

“We’ve still got to be on the ball in every race on Saturday to finish the job.”

LEICESTER: Dan Thompson, Max Perry, Connor Coles, Tom Spencer, Joe Thompson, Vinnie Foord, Mickie Simpson.
OXFORD: Jordan Jenkins, Nathan Stoneman r/r, Adam Roynon, Jody Scott, Henry Atkins, Ashton Boughen, Jacob Clouting.

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July 18, 2024 19.30

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