SWINDON 50 LIONS 41

Monday August 28, 2017
LEICESTER put in a battling display at SGB Premiership leaders Swindon but eventually went down to a 50-41 Bank Holiday Monday defeat.

On a baking hot day at the Abbey Stadium, the Watling JCB Lions remained in contention throughout as they looked to secure a second successive upset away victory.

On this occasion they fell short although they still had a chance of snatching a league point going into the last race, only for skipper Danny King to crash out at the end of an eventful meeting.

King was one of four Lions riders to win races – reserve Josh Bates taking the chequered flag twice - but all six team members all suffered at least one no-score in a match where consistency was difficult to find.

There were several problems along the way with King breaking the tapes from the inside gate in Heat 6, and Josh Bates then being disqualified as he fell on the second bend after a hard move from Robins skipper Jason Doyle.

That allowed Swindon to take charge after the Lions had gone into the early lead when reserves Bates and Kyle Newman combined for maximum points in Heat 2.

The home guest reserves picked up useful third places to take their side’s lead up to ten points, ahead of Lions boss Jim Lynch nominating King for double points in Heat 9.

The move appeared to be working to perfection as both King and Bates made the start, with Bates in front, but before the riders could switch positions in the final part of the race, home man David Bellego slammed into the fence and the race was stopped with a 7-1 awarded to Leicester rather than the 8-1 which would have resulted if the heat had run its course.

Lasse Bjerre then produced a brilliant ride to go in between Doyle and Adam Ellis in Heat 10 and then held off the strong challenge of the World Championship leader for a fabulous win.

But Bjerre was unable to back that up in either Heats 12 or 14 as he fell on each occasion – although King superbly rounded Doyle and Nick Morris on turn two in Heat 13 to take a rapid win and keep his side in touch

It all meant a race advantage was required from Heat 15 for the Lions to take a league point, but King’s crash effectively ended those hopes, with Swindon taking a 3-2 in the re-run after home man Tobiasz Musielak suffered a puncture.

King said: “The tactical ride was frustrating but you can’t blame Josh for that, we were riding well for three laps and normally he’d just roll off and I’d pass him.

“Obviously we didn’t expect the crash to happen but that’s just the way it is, you can’t do anything about it.

“I got caught out a bit by conditions in Heat 15 and it was a case of hit Tobiasz’s rear wheel or avoid him – which I did, but unfortunately I hit the fence, but I’m okay, just a bit bruised.

“It’s not my favourite place to come to if I’m honest, I’ve always struggled to find the set-up here, but we did something different here and I’m happy with how it went.

“We battled away as a team again and now hopefully we can get that win on Friday.”

Lions head back into action at Beaumont Park when they face Wolverhampton on Friday – and depending on results elsewhere, that could be a crucial fixture as they bid to avoid the wooden spoon.

SWINDON 50: Jason Doyle 13, Nick Morris 10+1, Tobiasz Musielak 9+1, Adam Ellis 6+2, David Bellego 6, Todd Kurtz 4+1, Mitchell Davey 2.
LEICESTER 41: Danny King 9+1, Josh Bates 8, Kyle Newman 7+2, Erik Riss 7, Kim Nilsson 5+1, Lasse Bjerre 5, Pawel Przedpelski R/R.



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