Thursday January 16, 2020
LEICESTER and Coventry will meet for the East Midlands Bowl in the first senior action of the new season at the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena.

The Watling JCB Lions will host a team representing the homeless Bees on Easter Saturday, April 11 to renew a traditional rivalry and also provide an important warm-up for their Championship campaign.

Lions’ league programme will not get underway before April 22, which is the date Dan and Joe Thompson turn 16 and become eligible for senior racing.

So the Coventry meeting will enable their top five riders, including new signings Nick Morris and Kyle Howarth, to get fully dialled-in on their home track.

And whilst the Thompson twins themselves will not be able to race on this occasion, the club do expect to go into National League racing early in the month, with a home meeting likely on April 4.

Coventry have been absent from senior competition since the end of the 2016 season due to the unavailability of their Brandon home, but a strong Campaign effort appears to have been making progress.

Their team on April 11 is set to be made up of riders with Bees connections, subject to the official fixture list on that date.

Lions boss Stewart Dickson said: “We’re pleased to put the meeting on, and as well as the Coventry angle itself I think it will do us good.
“It’s important to get a home meeting in before we start our league matches, and it worked well last year when we rode against Ipswich.

“Although our top five are all doubling-up so won’t be short of racing, I’m a big believer in getting everyone together as a team, and it’s then when you find out how certain riders go together.

“We will have to bring in a couple of riders at reserve, but the Thompsons will be there on the night and obviously we want to get them plenty of track time before they turn 16.

“The Coventry team will be matched up with ourselves to make it a competitive meeting, and I hope it will be attractive for the Coventry fans.

“I visited Brandon on several occasions and what happened is such a shame for them and the sport, but hopefully there will be some better news coming from there.”

The last East Midlands Bowl clash was raced at the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena on September 17, 2017, with the Lions winning 50-43.

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