LIONS 57 SOMERSET 33

Saturday August 26, 2017
LEICESTER’S late bid to avoid the SGB Premiership wooden spoon gathered momentum with an emphatic 57-33 win over Somerset at Beaumont Park.

No.1 Kim Nilsson returned to top form with a bumper 16-point haul for the Watling JCB Lions, who ensured there were no slip-ups at home 24 hours on from their sensational victory at Belle Vue.

The result moves the Lions to within two points of seventh-placed King’s Lynn, with three matches remaining.

The Stars have six matches to go – but having suffered nine defeats in their last ten, and with a tough fixture list to come, even one more Leicester win could move them out of the basement position.

Their task on Saturday was made easier by the Rebels’ injury misfortune, the visitors having lost Cameron Heeps to an arm problem at Ipswich on Thursday and then ex-Lion Patrick Hougaard (knee) in Denmark on Friday.

Leicester duly dominated the race wins, once again showing good form in a home meeting in which they were able to track the majority of their own riders with only the injured Pawel Przedpelski missing out.

Nilsson was beaten by opposite number Josh Grajczonek in Heat 1 but then reeled off four wins in his remaining five rides, whilst Lasse Bjerre hit double figures for the second night running.

Lions took charge of the meeting with back-to-back 5-1s in Heats 3 and 4 as they made the best of a series of re-runs following unsatisfactory starts, and it started a run of five successive race advantages.

The Rebels trailed 10-20 after five races, but their early tactical move to nominate guest Michael Palm Toft for double points in Heat 6 backfired as the Dane could make no impression against Nilsson and Erik Riss, who banked another 5-1.

When Bjerre and skipper Danny King secured maximum points over Palm Toft and Adam Ellis in Heat 9, the Lions were into a 37-19 lead and their victory was all-but secure.

The Rebels then begun to peg the gap with Charles Wright and Ellis taking race wins, but 4-2s in Heats 13 and 14 took the margin up over the 20-point mark.

And with Nilsson rounding things off in the finale to secure his biggest score of the season, the Lions recorded 12 of the 15 heat victories in a convincing result.

Nilsson said: “It was nice to get a score on the board in the UK, I’ve been alright in Sweden but I’ve struggled over here and didn’t really know what the problem was.

“But we’ve changed a few things over the last couple of days and it seems to have worked.

“The last two nights have been a real boost for the team. We gave it our all and everyone has played a part in the scoring. We really pushed hard and it’s just nice to show what we can actually do.

“I think this is a great club and I always feel welcome when I get here. Everyone had patience with me when I came back from injury, they know I want to do well and it was nice to turn it around tonight because I’ve felt so bad when I haven’t been scoring points.”

Lions are in action at leaders Swindon on Bank Holiday Monday (4pm) before hosting Wolverhampton at Beaumont Park on Friday.

LEICESTER 57: Kim Nilsson 16, Lasse Bjerre 11, Josh Bates 9, Erik Riss 8+3, Danny King 8+2, Kyle Newman 5+1, Pawel Przedpelski r/r.
SOMERSET 33: Charles Wright 8, Michael Palm Toft 8, Adam Ellis 6+1, Josh Grajczonek 5, Lewis Kerr 4, Tero Aarnio 2+1, Patrick Hougaard r/r.




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