LEICESTER topped the 60-point mark for the second time in two home meetings with a rampant 62-28 win over Scunthorpe.
The Lions dominated their Championship opener Richie Worrall (14), Joe Thompson (11+3), Kyle Howarth (11) and Nick Morris (10) all in double figures.
Former Leicester man Ryan Douglas scored half of the Scorpions’ points with 14 from six rides and ended Worrall’s nine-race winning streak at the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena in Heat 15.
Lions boss Stewart Dickson said: “I expected a slightly tougher test so I don’t know if Scunthorpe had a poor night, but I do think we’re pretty strong at home.
“When you look through the scores, it was good to see Anders Rowe have a better meeting, and Joe Thompson was very good again, and I think it was a fair call to go with the two unbeaten riders for Heat 15.
“The track was a bit different because we had to pack it in case we got any snow showers, and it was a cold night as well, but it’s a good start to score 62 and get three league points on the board.”
Douglas said: “I was pretty happy how I rode. I managed to stop quite a few of the Leicester boys collecting a maximum.
“I’ve done a few meetings this year, but some of our lads hadn’t ridden much this season. The Leicester boys were tending to get out of the starts much better, and then it can be a struggle around here, because this isn’t the easiest place to pass.
“Fair play to Leicester, who rode well on the night. For us, we were on the back foot all night and it was a wake-up call. Hopefully, from now on, we will ride better. I’m sure we will.”
BERWICK made a flying start to the Championship campaign by defeating Birmingham 58-32 at Shielfield Park.
The Brummies had won the equivalent fixture last season but the Bandits delivered a powerful all-round display on this occasion with all seven riders winning at least one race.
Reserve Jye Etheridge top-scored with 12+2 and new skipper Chris Harris added 11, whilst Adam Ellis had two of the Brummies’ three race wins on his way to ten points.
Bandits boss Gary Flint said: “From the start of putting this team together, we knew we had a team capable of doing the business, and tonight was proof that this team really can do it on the track.
“All seven of the guys took at least one heat win and all looked so comfortable on our shale, which only fills us with great confidence for the rest of the season.
“Bomber (Harris) really got the crowd going, and we love it when he misses the gate as that generally means we’re in for a great display of passing. This was a great start to 2022.”
Birmingham manager Laurence Rogers said: “The team will need time, and whilst this is a disappointing start we will get better.”
STOKE are back on track for one day only as they race at Newcastle today (Sunday) in the Dave Tattum Memorial Trophy.
The Potters, whose Loomer Road venue was closed at the end of the 2019 season, will be led by Steve Worrall, Ben Barker and Ricky Wells at Brough Park, with several previous connections with the club.
They will be co-managed by former boss Nigel Crabtree and Tattum’s son Lloyd as tributes are paid to ex-Stoke and Newcastle promoter Dave, who died last September.
Lloyd said: “I hope a lot of Potters supporters can make it up to Tyneside for the meeting to cheer the lads on.
“I feel we have assembled a good team to take on Newcastle and hopefully this can become an annual event if Rob (Grant) is willing to do it.
“My Dad and Rob had a great friendship, and full respect to Newcastle for putting on this meeting, and hopefully we can get a sneaky win up there on Sunday.”
ARMADALE have announced the experienced William Lawson will fill their remaining team spot for the National Development League campaign.
Lawson lost his place with the senior Monarchs side last year after making a comeback to the sport in 2018, but is seen as the ideal signing at NDL level with several youngsters in the lower-order.
Manager Alan Budzynski said: “William is the last piece of the jigsaw; he was the one we wanted to compete the team from the off and we are delighted he is in there to share his experience with the younger guys.
“It is always nice to have another Scot in the team as well as this shows the kids coming through the academy what they can achieve.”
MONDAY APRIL 4:
LEAGUE CUP: Peterborough v Ipswich 7.30, Wolverhampton v Sheffield 7.30
TUESDAY APRIL 5:
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP Q/F 1st leg: Plymouth v Poole 7pm
WEDNESDAY APRIL 6:
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP Q/F 2nd leg: Poole v Plymouth 7.30; 1st round 2nd leg: Birmingham v Leicester 7.30