Saturday May 22, 2021
LEICESTER suffered massive frustration with the postponement of their Championship opener against Edinburgh on Saturday.

Meeting referee Wayne Jarvis took the decision with full agreement of both sets of riders and officials after a second heavy late-afternoon downpour hit the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena around 90 minutes before start time.

And although all forecasts then indicated a dry evening, Watling JCB Lions boss Stewart Dickson admitted there was no chance of a salvage operation.

He said: “We had the track looking fantastic around 3.30pm, we knew there was some rain coming between 4-5pm which it did, and things were fine. The track was hard-packed, and it took it.

“We then got the other downpour, and even though it wasn’t due to rain for the rest of the night, the damage was done.

“Maybe if it had stopped 15 minutes earlier, we could have waited until 7.30pm, but even when we called it off it was still spitting down on top of what we’d already had.

“There were puddles on the track and it was slide-y under-foot, so I can’t repair this in time, I can’t put any equipment on it.

“I feel for the track staff, who have been in here since the crack of dawn, and of course I feel sorry for the supporters. We were close to a sell-out.

“But this is a good fixture, we had great riders here from both teams, and even as a team manager you look forward to seeing our top riders against theirs. Nobody wants to see them skidding around getting filled-in with mud.

“We all want to see decent racing – so the only positive is that now, everybody lives to fight another day.”

Lions have another attempt to start their senior campaign when they visit Scunthorpe in the KO Cup on Friday, whilst the Roger Webster Lion Cubs are back at the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena next Saturday to face Armadale.

PICTURE (FROM L-R): Clerk of the course (Richard Cassidy), Team Manager (Stewart Dickson) and Referee (Wayne Jarvis) walking the track to decide the fate of the meeting which was called off.
Courtesy of MARK HALL.

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