LEICESTER begin a busy week of away matches when they head to Oxford in the ROWE Motor Oil Premiership on Bank Holiday Monday (7.30pm).

The Watling JCB Lions are looking to bounce back from Thursday’s setback when Ipswich once again inflicted a home defeat upon them.

The Spires are newcomers to the Premiership this season but have already made a decent start with three wins out of four at home, all by a 47-43 margin, although they too lost out to Ipswich, and they have also picked up an away win at Birmingham.

They made headlines in the winter with the signing of former World No.3 Maciej Janowski, but in terms of points scored the more dramatic move came more recently when Craig Cook was brought in to replace the injured Lewis Kerr.

Cook, who struggled in a short stint with the Lions last season, racked up a sensational 16 from six rides at reserve at Sheffield on Thursday, although it wasn’t enough to inspire an away win.

Erik Riss is also a recent addition for the Spires having come in for Nicolai Klindt, and they are led by former Leicester captain Chris Harris.

For the Lions, there will be some inside track knowledge supplied by Sam Masters, who races at No.1 for Oxford in the Championship as the Cowley club uniquely operate teams at all three levels of the sport.

And new Rising Star Sam Hagon makes his debut on a familiar circuit as he spent the 2022 season with Oxford in the National Development League.

Hagon goes into the meeting fresh from another big score at Championship level, having scored 11+1 for Poole in their win at Berwick on Saturday.

Leicester manager Stewart Dickson said: “As soon as I contacted Sam on Friday he was up for it, and whilst some riders would say they’re not prepared or ready, he was desperate to come straight in at Oxford on Monday.

“It was basically ‘yes, yes, yes’ to every question that I asked, and whilst as I’ve said we don’t expect him to score a stack of points straight away, we do feel he’s an improving rider who will develop over time.

“It’s going to be a difficult meeting at Oxford. We do have riders who like that sort of track, but obviously Craig Cook made a brilliant start for them and that will make it tough.

“We need to get some points on the road to make up for losing at home, and hopefully we can do that at one or both of the meetings this week.”

Lions fans not making the trip to Cowley should note that the meeting is being live streamed by the British Speedway Network and will be available from https://watch.britishspeedway.co.uk .

Although there is no Premiership action at the Pidcock Motorcycles Arena, Beaumont Park this week, as the Lions travel to King’s Lynn on Thursday, the Lion Cubs will host Belle Vue in the NDL next Sunday (May 12, 3pm).

OXFORD: Maciej Janowski, Erik Riss, Charles Wright, Rohan Tungate, Chris Harris, Craig Cook, Ashton Boughen.

LEICESTER: Max Fricke, Richard Lawson, Sam Masters, Luke Becker, Ryan Douglas, Drew Kemp, Sam Hagon.

Next Home Meeting

Leicester Lions V Ipswich Witches
July 18, 2024 19.30

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