Friday July 15, 2022
LEICESTER suffered a 51-39 defeat in their Championship Jubilee League opener at Redcar on Friday.

The Watling JCB Lions were beaten by a stronger all-round side on the night with youngsters Jordan Jenkins and Jason Edwards especially impressive for the Bears.

Skipper Kyle Howarth rode well throughout with four wins out of five, whilst Nick Morris was always in the thick of the action and Connor Mountain finished strongly with two wins, but it was a lop-sided team display overall.

The Bears took the advantage with a 5-1 in Heat 2 and both home riders forced their way through for a 4-2 in Heat 3 as Erik Riss rounded Richie Worrall and Kasper Andersen switched inside Joe Thompson.

A series of shared races led to boss Stewart Dickson using his tactical substitute in Heat 7, pairing Morris with Howarth, but they were frustrated by a flying start from Lewis Kerr who ensured the Bears took a 3-3 from the race.

Mountain chased Jenkins hard in Heat 8 but the Bears still took a 4-2, and a hard-fought Heat 10 saw Edwards make the start whilst Charles Wright bundled his way inside Richie Worrall at the end of the third lap for a 5-1.

Mountain and Morris put the Lions back in touch for a point at least with some fine team riding in a 5-1 over Kerr in Heat 11, but the meeting went away from the visitors in the next two races.

A four-way scrap in Heat 12 saw Worrall unable to find a way past Erik Riss, before Jenkins found space on the outside to go past Clegg and then continue to build his speed to catch Worrall off the final turn in a brilliant ride.

Lions were on the wrong end of Heat 13 as well as Morris initially led only for Kerr to come charging through going into the second lap, and as Morris was forced wide Wright shot through for second place.

That ended Leicester’s hopes of any serious consolation, but they did end with two 4-2s, Mountain taking the honours in Heat 14 and Thompson holding Kyle Bickley at bay.

And just when they looked set for a 5-1 in Heat 15, Jenkins came up with another storming effort to make it up onto the outside of Morris, and just won the race to the line for second place behind Howarth.

Leicester boss Stewart Dickson said: “It’s a disappointing result and I’m not going to dress it up. They fired much more as a full team whereas we really had only three and a half riders.

“I certainly don’t regard this as ‘only’ the Jubilee League. I want to win every competition we go into, and whilst I don’t want to go overboard about it, we should have been good enough to get at least a point here.

“Richie had an off-night by his standards, but he’s been excellent this year and we can allow him one of those, but obviously our lack of points at reserve is a concern.

“Max really had a debut from hell with all sorts of problems, and he’ll need to be in the workshop tonight to fix things for tomorrow, and Joe also knows we need more from him away from home, and that’s nothing I haven’t told the riders.

“It was good to see Connor get a couple of wins, he rode well, and so did Kyle and Nick, but full credit to Redcar, they were the better side and we have to park it and move on.”

REDCAR 51: Jordan Jenkins 12+1, Erik Riss 10+1, Lewis Kerr 8+1, Charles Wright 7+3, Jason Edwards 7+1, Kasper Andersen 5, Kyle Bickley 2+1
LEICESTER 39: Kyle Howarth 12, Nick Morris 11+1, Connor Mountain 9+1, Richie Worrall 5+1, Max Clegg 1, Joe Thompson 1, Dan Thompson r/r
Championship Jubilee points: Redcar 3 Leicester 0

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