Saturday August 06, 2022
LEICESTER stormed into the Championship Jubilee League Final with a fully convincing 56-34 win over Scunthorpe on Saturday.

The Watling JCB Lions now join Glasgow and Poole as group winners, with arrangements for the Final to be confirmed in the near future.

Results in the Northern group were such that the Lions had to prevent the Scorpions from coming away from the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena with a group point, and that was very much in the balance in the early stages.

Indeed, when guest Richard Lawson and Simon Lambert raced to a shock 5-1 over Richie Worrall in Heat 5, the visitors were only four points adrift and very much within striking range with their target being 42 points on the night.

But the Lions then eased clear with Nick Morris scoring another home maximum whilst Dan Thompson performed strongly at No.2, teaming up with Morris for a 5-1 in Heat 6 and then notching maximum points alongside Max Clegg in Heat 8.

That race saw a fine battle between Clegg and Lambert for second place, and the Lions’ most recruit enjoyed a good night’s work as he was paid for double figures.

As expected, Lawson took his full quota of rides for the Scorpions as he covered well for Ryan Douglas, but although he won a tactical substitute ride in Heat 9, an unhappy Tero Aarnio was at the back so the visitors failed to regain ground.

And then Morris and Thompson banged in another 5-1 over James Wright and Aarnio in Heat 10 to give the Lions clear breathing space.

Their progression to the Final was sealed with back-to-back maximums in Heats 12 and 13, with Morris and captain Kyle Howarth confirming it in style in Heat 13 with a super effort as a combination to get the better of Lawson.

Howarth and Worrall were both in double figures, and Connor Mountain also gave his usual solid display including an early Heat 3 5-1 over Lawson.

It all meant the Lions recorded just three last places all evening, with the Scorpions unable to find consistent support for Douglas despite a flying start to the meeting from former Leicester rider Anders Rowe.

Lions boss Stewart Dickson said: “The meeting was nip and tuck for the first five or six races, and I always felt if we went six ahead Richard Lawson would be getting seven riders with the rider replacement.

“But we got into our stride, and we are pretty good round here. I’m not saying the scoreline flattered us at 56-34, but I don’t think we panicked at any stage, and I think we were well worth the victory.

“We’ve got a place in the Final and you could probably argue it is the three ‘big’ teams in the Final, so that’s going to be really tough, but we’re just glad to get there and overall I’m pretty pleased.”

There is no meeting at the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena next Saturday (August 13) due to the British Grand Prix, with the club then staging the National League Pairs on August 20.

LEICESTER 56: Nick Morris 12, Kyle Howarth 11+2, Richie Worrall 10, Max Clegg 8+3, Dan Thompson 8+2, Connor Mountain 5+3, Joe Thompson 2.
SCUNTHORPE 34: Richard Lawson 16, Simon Lambert 6+1, James Wright 6+1, Anders Rowe 5, Adam Roynon 1, Tero Aarnio 0, Jake Allen r/r.

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