LEICESTER were crowned National Development League Pairs champions as Dan and Joe Thompson completed an unbeaten night’s work at the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena.

The twins scored a maximum 21 points from their qualifying races and then overcame Oxford to win their semi-final before defeating surprise packages Armadale in the Final.

Joe Thompson won all three races in the qualifiers, followed home by Dan as they finished well clear of Belle Vue’s Jack Smith in Heat 1 with Harry McGurk suffering mechanical trouble.

They then notched a routine 7-2 over Armadale in Heat 5 before completing the job against Berwick in Heat 9.

And it was the Devils who also progressed to the semi-finals by virtue of a close call when they met Berwick in Heat 3 as Elliot Kelly was adjudged to have snatched third place from Luke Crang.

Group B proved a close call with Plymouth and Oxford edging through just ahead of Mildenhall, and the Lion Cubs’ semi-final against the Chargers provided a close battle with Dan Thompson getting the better of Jordan Jenkins in the early stages before Joe came through at the end of lap two.

The second semi-final proved somewhat of anti-climax as Plymouth’s Rhys Naylor fell on the first bend and was disqualified, meaning Armadale duo Elliot Kelly and Tom Woolley simply had to follow Adam Roynon home to ‘win’ the race 5-4.

The Devils won the coin toss for the Final but had no answer to the Thompsons who fended off an enthusiastic challenge from Kelly to secure the silverware.

Cubs skipper Joe Thompson said: “I really enjoyed it, and it’s nice to get so many races with Dan during the evening.

“It’s the most enjoyable racing I’ve had really, so I’m glad it was a good finish in the end.

“It’s been a bit of a roller-coaster for me lately, but I’m starting to find things out and starting to get back to where I was. It’s all about enjoying it, taking it step by step and progressing even further.”

LEICESTER 21: Joe Thompson 12, Dan Thompson 9.
ARMADALE 13: Tom Woolley 8, Elliot Kelly 5.
BERWICK 12: Greg Blair 9, Luke Crang 3.
BELLE VUE 8: Jack Smith 8, Harry McGurk 0.

PLYMOUTH 16: Adam Roynon 10, Rhys Naylor 6.
OXFORD 15: Jordan Jenkins 11, Sam Hagon 4.
MILDENHALL 14: Jason Edwards 11, Jack Kingston 3.
KENT 9: Ben Morley 9, Sam Woolley 0.

SEMI-FINAL 1: D. Thompson, J. Thompson, Jenkins, Hagon – [Leicester beat Oxford 7-2]
SEMI-FINAL 2: Roynon, Kelly, T. Woolley, Naylor (f.exc) – [Armadale beat Plymouth 5-4]
GRAND FINAL: D. Thompson, J. Thompson, Kelly, Woolley - [Leicester beat Armadale 7-2]

1 Leicester
2 Armadale
3 Plymouth
4 Oxford

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