LEICESTER secured their place in the National Development League play-offs with a convincing 56-34 win over Kent at the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena.

The Lion Cubs can now turn their focus to finishing top of the table having confirmed their top four place with two matches to go, after another strong all-round effort around their own circuit.

Whilst the Royals actually provided a majority of race winners, by eight to seven, the visitors provided no support to their top two of Ben Morley and Lions regular Max Clegg.

The Cubs, by contrast, all scored at least paid-seven, and in the seven races which they won, six of them ended in 5-1s.

The only race they were outscored in was the first when guest Adam Roynon came to grief on the first bend, with Max Perry splitting Morley and Sam Woods in the re-run.

The Cubs then secured two 5-1s as Vinnie Foord overcame Sam Woolley in Heat 2 before the Kent rider fell, and Foord then combined with Mickie Simpson in the re-run, whilst Tom Spencer and Connor Coles also took a 5-1 in Heat 3.

The next advantage came from skipper Joe Thompson and Foord in Heat 7 to put the Cubs ten points up, whilst Perry won a re-started Heat 8 after all four riders came to grief on the first bend, and then teamed up with Roynon for a 5-1 with Connor King third as Danno Verge was disqualified.

A malfunction to the starting tapes meant the final five races were run under green light starts, but the Cubs confirmed their victory with a 5-1 from Coles and Simpson in Heat 12 to make it 45-27.

Thompson looked set to end the unbeaten runs of Clegg and Morley in Heat 13 only for Clegg to make a fine pass on lap three, with Morley failing to finish the race.

Spencer and Foord recorded the final 5-1 of the night in Heat 14, and with Clegg not appearing in the finale but Coles and Spencer both moved into double figures with a 3-3 behind Morley.

Cubs manager Dave Howard said: “We’re in the play-offs now so that’s good, and now we’ll see how high we can finish.

“This year it’s first against fourth and second against third in the play-offs, so it could be anybody we face, but for us it’s all about momentum, and we’ve done relatively well away from home everywhere.

“We’ve got the play-offs to come and the Cup Final against Mildenhall, so it should be a great end to the season for hopefully both teams. We just want to keep the momentum going."

LEICESTER 56: Tom Spencer 10+2, Connor Coles 10+2, Joe Thompson 9, Max Perry 8+2, Vinnie Foord 7+4, Mickie Simpson 6+2, Adam Roynon 6+1.
KENT 34: Ben Morley 12, Max Clegg 12, Connor King 3, Sam Woods 2+1, Danno Verge 2, Sam Woolley 2, Chris Watts 1.

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