LEICESTER raced to their biggest win of the season with an empathic 63-27 victory over Sheffield in the WSRA National Development League on Sunday.

The Lion Cubs’ superb start to the season now extends to five wins out of five, and whilst they only have one more home match remaining, they are leaving themselves very well placed for the all-important aggregate points when they go on the road.

In another impressive all-round team effort, Vinnie Foord took top billing with a four-ride paid maximum at reserve, winning Heat 2 in a 5-1 with Arran Butcher and then taking paid wins behind his team-mates in all three of his other rides.

Skipper Joe Thompson was close to going through the card himself as he just missed out on a full house in Heat 15, but the level of domination for the Lion Cubs was shown by the fact they ran just one last place all afternoon – and that only due to mechanical problems causing Arran Butcher to slow in Heat 14.

The Lion Cubs made a flying start with three 5-1s in the first four races to go 14-points up, with Foord and Butcher both passing Kean Dicken in Heat 2, before Foord and Max James repeated the feat in Heat 4.

Former Leicester rider Mickie Simpson came to grief in Heat 3 with Tom Spencer and Luke Crang taking a 5-1 in the re-run over a hard charging Luke Harrison, whilst Nathan Ablitt put the Tiger Cubs on the board with a race win in Heat 5.

But that was just the cue for the Lion Cubs to show their strength again with two 5-1s and a 4-2 in the next three races to build up a massive 36-12 lead, and it could have been more but for mechanical trouble for James in Heat 7 which caused him to coast home for third place after Harrison had fallen.

Ace Pijper won Heat 9 for Sheffield but Thompson got the better of Harrison in Heat 10, and James then came from the back against Ablitt in the next to make it 47-19.

Once again Dicken made the start in Heat 12 but Spencer and Foord were quickly through for a 5-1, and a tremendous effort from James off the 15-metre handicap in Heat 13 saw him collect another 5-1 with Thompson.

That virtually ensured the Lion Cubs would go through the 60-point barrier although the Tiger Cubs did avoid major damage in the last two races, both of which were shared, and they may have taken a rare advantage in Heat 15 until Ablitt hit trouble.

Maximum man Foord said: “That’s my first paid maximum for Leicester so it’s pretty good and I’m buzzing with it.

“It’s all about aggression really, I never make the start – the last one I did make it just about, but it’s about that aggression and who can hold it for the longest going into the corner.

“The engine is working well, I can’t complain and I didn’t change anything on the bike all day, I stuck with the same thing and the track was absolutely amazing, it’s the best it’s been all season with a lovely bit of dirt on it which was pulling me around nicely.

“I’m loving it here and I can’t thank the fans enough for coming here and supporting us every week.”

LEICESTER 63: Joe Thompson 14, Max James 10+2, Vinnie Foord 9+3, Tom Spencer 9+1, Luke Crang 8+2, Sonny Springer 7+1, Arran Butcher 6+1.
SHEFFIELD 27: Nathan Ablitt 8, Luke Harrison 8, Kean Dicken 4+1, Ace Pijper 4, Mickie Simpson 3, Harry McGurk 0, Sheldon Davies r/r.

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July 18, 2024 19.30

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