WEEKEND REPORT: No pride lost in Leicester defeat, insists Crump

Monarch Oxford Cheetahs Team Manager Jason Crump said no pride was lost during Saturday’s 55-35 reverse to Leicester Lions in the British Speedway Championship.

Extensive track work during the week made for testing conditions at the Paul Chapman and Sons Arena, with several riders from both teams struggling to get to grips with the surface.

Although there were heat wins for Monarch Cheetahs skipper Scott Nicholls, Troy Batchelor, Kyle Newman and Dillon Ruml, the Lions secured a 20-point victory.

Crump said: “Leicester is always quite a tricky track to ride. This week they’ve had a motorway blade to try to take some of the bumps away. But they’ve gone through the shale base and they’ve hit the clay base. In the initial stages of the meeting, there were these lumps and clumps of clay coming up, which are far from ideal for a speedway bike.

“Maybe we didn’t get as many points tonight as we could have. But I’m proud that our riders maintained their health and fitness on a track where it was, in my opinion, 50/50 whether the meeting should go ahead.

“If you made the start and had a clear road in front of you, there was a huge difference in the trust you had with the track and what you could do on the bike. When you were in traffic, you put your trust in what you thought your bike was going to do and how you thought your bike was going to react.

“With that in mind, I think the riders from both sides did a great job tonight. I think that the guys here at Leicester Speedway seriously have a bit of work on their hands to sort out this situation.”

Josh Macdonald, on his return from an ankle injury to his tibia, withdrew after one painful ride after aggravating his injury.

Leicester Lions 55: Richie Worrall 13, Dan Thompson 6+2, Nick Morris 12, Connor Mountain 6+1, Kyle Howarth 9, Anders Rowe 4, Joe Thompson 5+3.

Oxford Cheetahs 35: Scott Nicholls 9+1, Kyle Newman 4+1, Jack Thomas 0, Cameron Heeps 6, Troy Batchelor 11, Dillon Ruml 5+1, Josh Macdonald 0.

Meanwhile, Crump was delighted a 48-42 victory for Oxford Chargers at Edinburgh on Friday against the Armadale Devils.

Jordan Jenkins took a full maximum, while Nathan Stoneman picked up a paid maximum.

Chargers now sit in second place in the National League table.

Crump said: “I’m really pleased and proud of the way the Chargers dug in and beat the Berwick Bullets on Wednesday, which was a really good effort, and to back that up with a win at Edinburgh on Friday was awesome.

“At Armadale, we picked a good guest for Sam Hagon – who was on international duty – in Ace Pijper. There was a downpour before the start, which made the track very difficult for National League racing.

“But our riders dealt with it well, just got stuck in all night, and it was fantastic result away from home. The morale in the team is high.”

Armadale Devils 42: Danny Phillips 6, Josh Embleton 6+2, Tom Woolley 12, George Rothery r/r, William Lawson 6, Gregor Millar 9+3, Lewis Millar 3+2.

Oxford Chargers 48: Jordan Jenkins 15, Ace Pijper 7+2, Ben Hopwood 1+1, Jacob Clouting 6, Nathan Stoneman 13+2, Arran Butcher 3, Sam Woods 3.