AMERICAN star Luke Becker made a dream debut as Leicester opened the new season with a hard-fought 47-42 win over King’s Lynn at the Pidcock Motorcycles Arena, Beaumont Park.

Becker top-scored with 11+2 as the Watling JCB Lions put two league points on the board in their first ROWE Motor Oil Premiership match of 2024, where they had to fight off a stubborn challenge from the Stars who worked hard to keep in touch.

Richard Lawson added 11 points himself in the No.2 position, and there was also a vital contribution from reserve Drew Kemp in the latter stages after a nightmare start to the meeting.

Kemp spun on the final bend of Heat 2, causing the closely following Joe Thompson to take avoiding action and come down as well, and whilst Kemp’s disqualification was no surprise, nobody was expecting Thompson to be ruled to have fallen independently as he too was disqualified by referee Dave Watters, and the visitors were handed a 5-0.

Becker surged inside Michael Palm Toft to join Sam Masters for maximum points for the Lions in Heat 3 as they regained the early advantage, and they extended the margin to five points with back-to-back 4-2s in Heats 5 and 6, the former seeing the home side gate on a 5-1 only for Stars skipper Tobiasz Musielak to split Becker and Masters.

A run of the preferable outside starting position enabled the Stars to close the gap, although there was a key win for Lawson in Heat 8 along with a vital third place for Thompson over Anders Rowe.

But when Ryan Douglas fell on the third bend of Heat 11 the resultant 4-2 to King’s Lynn headed up by Musielak meant the lead was down to just one point with four races to go.

Kemp then came up with a big start to take the flag in Heat 12 with third place for Masters making it 37-34, but the Lions’ hopes of an advantage from Heat 13 were spoiled by a sensational ride by Vadim Tarasenko, who make the outside line work to first get the better of Lions skipper Max Fricke and then go around Douglas.

But Leicester moved to the brink of victory with Becker dominating Heat 14 whilst Kemp added the crucial third place, and that just meant they needed to provide a finisher from the final race.

Tarasenko won again from the outside for the Stars, but Lawson and Becker packed in for the minor places to give the Lions a five-point win.

Manager Stewart Dickson said: “A home match on the first night is always a potential banana skin. We won by five points and I would have taken that before the start, I have to be honest about that.

“I told the riders on the track walk it was all about winning the first meeting of the season at home, and I actually said to Rob Lyon (King’s Lynn manager) I’d like to be the away team because there’s no pressure, anything you get is a bonus.

“We got there. There were one or two difficult moments for us in the meeting, they were coming back into it and I was never quite sure that we were going to win, but we got there in the end.

“There were some good performances and one or two of the other guys had some teething problems, but it’s early days without making any excuses. It’s a win, and that’s what we wanted.”

Lions will head to Norfolk for the return fixture against the Stars at the Adrian Flux Arena next Thursday (March 28).


1 FRICKE 59.75 Iversen, Lawson, Musielak (4-2)

2 ROWE 61.50 Wojdylo, Kemp (f.dq), Thompson (f.dq) (4-7)

3 MASTERS 61.75, Becker, Basso, Palm Toft (9-8)

4 DOUGLAS 61.41 Rowe, Tarasenko, Thompson (12-11)

5 BECKER 60.19 Musielak, Masters, Iversen (16-13)

6 LAWSON 60.75 Tarasenko, Fricke, Wojdylo (20-15)

7 BASSO 60.75 Douglas, Palm Toft, Kemp (22-19)

8 LAWSON 61.50 Iversen, Thompson, Rowe (26-21)

9 WOJDYLO 61.44 Becker, Tarasenko, Masters (28-25)

10 PALM TOFT 61.00 Lawson, Fricke, Basso (31-28)

11 MUSIELAK 61.18 Kemp, Iversen, Douglas (f.rem) (33-32)

12 KEMP 61.25 Palm Toft, Masters, Wojdylo (37-34)

13 TARASENKO 60.44 Douglas, Fricke, Musielak (40-37)

14 (re-run) BECKER 60.37 Basso, Kemp, Rowe (44-39)

15 TARASENKO 60.69 Lawson, Becker, Palm Toft (47-42)

LEICESTER 47: Luke Becker 11+2, Richard Lawson 11, Ryan Douglas 7, Max Fricke 6+2, Drew Kemp 6, Sam Masters 5, Joe Thompson 1.
KING’S LYNN 42: Vadim Tarasenko 10+1, Michael Palm Toft 6, Benjamin Basso 6, Patryk Wojdylo 5+1, Tobiasz Musielak 5, Niels-Kristian Iversen 5, Anders Rowe 5.



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Leicester Cubs V Scunthorpe Stags / Sheffield Prowlers
May 19, 2024

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