Leicester win Championship Shield
Leicester have won the Championship Shield. They won 55-34 on the day and 103-76 on aggregate.
Eastbourne were on the back foot after losing the first leg of the final on Saturday by six points.
Any hopes the Fineprint Eagles had depended on making a quick start and closing the gap over the opening heats.
However, that did not happen. In fact, it was the reverse as Leicester scored a 5-1 in the opening heat.
After that, the Eagles slipped further out of contention and Leicester were home and hosed at the end of heat 11.
Club director, Ian Jordan, said: “Our valiant Championship Shield run failed at the final hurdle”
“The team was decimated by suspension and the late withdrawal of Edward Kennett due to recurring injury.”
He congratulated Leicester saying they were the better team over both legs and were well deserved winners.
“It is great to see all the hard work put in there by their Promoters paying off and their top-class friendly fans.
“We must dust ourselves down and look at some significant changes for 2020 on and off the track,” Jordan said.
Lions : Ryan Douglas 11(5), Ty Proctor 10(4), Scott Nicholls 9+2(4), Josh Pickering 9(4), Ellis Perks 8+3(5), Connor Mountain 7+2(4), Joe Lawlor 1(4) – 55 (agg 103)
Eagles: Richard Lawson 12(5), Lewi Kerr 10(5), Kyle Newman 4+1(5), Kevin Doolan 4(4), Nathan Stoneman 3(6), Jason Edwards 1+1(5); Georgie Wood (rider replacement yielded 1-point) – 34 (agg 76)
This concludes the Fineprint Eagles away fixtures for the season and so brings to a close of our website heat-by-heat coverage. Kevin Ling intends to go to the Championship Pairs at Somerset on Friday and he will report via Facebook. Details on the day on the club Facebook page.
Leicester victory celebrations – both teams did a lap of honour – Leicester (riders, management and supporters) magnanimous and respectful in victory – great to see – a quality operation from top to toe, says Kevin.
Here is how we reported live from the track on this evening’s match.
Kevin Ling is at the Paul Chapman and Sons Arena for this evening’s second leg of the Championship Shield Final.
The home Leicester Lions are now hot favourites for the trophy after last nights 48-42 win at Arlington Stadium against the Fineprint Eagles.
The Eagles are without Edward Kennett and Kevin Doolan has been drafted in as a late replacement.
Racing is due to begin from 5pm and we will bring you heat-by-heat details.
And here we go with Kevin Ling’s live blog from trackside. Please keep refreshing the page to make sure you get the latest information.
Well here we are at the Paul Chapman and Sons Arena ready to take in the splendour and excitement of the Championship Shield Final 2nd Leg as the Leicester Lions host our very own Eagles of Eastbourne.
Warm and sunny weather all the way on the journey up but a little overcast with less than half an hour before tapes up but no hint of rain as yet so let us hope it holds off and we get this done
Eagles: Kevin Doolan (Guest for Edward Kennett), Rider Replacement for Georgie Wood, Kyle Newman, Lewi Kerr, Richard Lawson, Jason Edwards, Nathan Stoneman (Guest for Alfie Bowtell).
Lions: Scott Nicholls, Ty Proctor, Ellis Perks, Josh Pickering (Guest for Richie Worrall), Ryan Douglas, Joe Lawlor, Connor Mountain.
Large crowd starting to fill the terraces and the Leicester fans already bubbly and in celebratory mode – cheering and applauding pretty much everything including both teams on the track walk. Who can blame them however – lovely people and their team have done them proud this season – good luck to them
Apparently, tonight is Leicester’s first final and chance of silverware since the far off days of 1975 – I think they’ve every right to be excited. As much as we Eagles would love to crash the party, with the Lions holding a 6-point advantage from the Arlington first leg, you can understand why the home fans consider it is almost job done.
A tough ask indeed of the Eagles, especially with Edward Kennett absen,t but hey, it’s not over till it’s over folks – still another fifteen heats in store and never underestimate the (cup) fighting mettle of the Eagles.
Bikes now lining up for the pre meeting parade – tapes up due in just about ten minutes.
Riders now back in the pits with battle soon to commence – Lions fans being led in war cries by the track by the announcer – where’s Simon Smith and his Dancing Bear when you need him? [Kevin the Redcar team are the Bears, surely you mean the Lion King.]
Heat 1: Nicholls (r), Proctor (b) Doolan (w) Edwards (r/r) (y). Proctor fastest into the first turn and although second place is initially disputed between Nicholls and Doolan, it is the Leicester man who eases away out of the second turn – that is how it stays with Proctor heading the field from Nicholls with Doolan following in third – the best possibly start for the Lions who now stretch their lead over the two legs to double figures, 5-1, agg 53-43, time 62.13
Heat 2: Lawlor (r) Mountain (b) Edwards (w) Stoneman (y). Lawlor spins it around on the first turn and falls (quickly up and okay allowing the race to continue). Mountain draws clear and wins by a distance with Stoneman second and Jason coming home in third for a share of the spoils, 3-3 ,8-4, agg 56-46, time 63.31
Heat 3: Perks (r) Pickering (b) Newman (w) Kerr (y). Lewi Kerr hits the front but this time it’s Kyle who hits difficulty on the first bend and falls (soon up and thankfully okay) – Pickering gives hard chase throughout and presses Lewi but the Eagle holds firm in spite of a determined last ditch effort from the Lions’ guest, 3-3, 11-7, agg 59-49, time 62.81
Heat 4: Douglas (r) Mountain (b) Lawson (w) Stoneman (y). Good gate from Richard and something of a pincer movement between him and Stoneman on Mountain saw the Eagles lead in the 5-1 position – seems to be something of an issue between the first two bends and Nathan hits difficulties and drifts wide taking Douglas’s front wheel from under him – anxious moments followed as the Australian looked in some discomfort but he was soon back up as was Stoneman. The stand in Eagle has been unfortunately disqualified as the cause of the stoppage by referee Michael Breckon (a new name on me). Track grading taking place as Douglas is given some recovery time. Re-run: Another fine gate and win for Richard who leads throughout from Douglas with Mountain riding unchallenged for the third consecutive, 3-3, 14-10, agg 62-52, time 61.75
Heat 5: Perks (r) Pickering (b) Doolan (w) Stoneman (r/r) (y). Lions got their gating gloves on in this one and Perks and Pickering hit the first bend first and ride side by side for the full four laps for another big 5-1 – Doolan keeps them honest but seldom looked likely to strike, 5-1, 19-11, agg 67-53, time 62.92
Heat 6: Nicholls (r) Proctor (b) Lawson (w) Edwards (y). Proctor enjoying his best meeting to date for the Lions and he powers to another win ahead of his skipper Nicholls – Richard featured on first two turns but the Lions’ captain rode inside of him out of bend two and drew away for the hosts third maximum, 5-1, 24-12, agg 72-54, time 62.81
Heat 7: Douglas (r) Lawlor (b) Newman (w) Kerr (y). Lewi hit the front ahead of Douglas and with Newman holding third it appeared that the first heat advantage might be on. However, Douglas blasted inside of him down the back straight and thereafter there was no change in the order, 3-3, 27-15, agg, 75-57, time 63.31.
Heat 8: Track grading before race 8. Proctor (r) Mountain (b) Newman (r/r) (w) Stoneman (y). Quite simple really, the Eagles only need five 5-1s and two shared heats in the final seven to take the title – academic really. Believe Eagles fans, believe. Back to the racing! Proctor makes it three wins out of three for him and with Mountain following him to the chequered flag, it’s a fourth maximum in the eight heats so far run puts Leicester in touching distance of the trophy. There was a good tussle between Kyle and Mountain for second with passing and repassing but the Lion was there when it counted, 5-1, 32-16, agg 80-58, time 64.0. Eastbourne now need “snookers”.
Heat 9: Perks (r) Pickering (b) Lawson (w) Edwards (y). Lawson powers to the win to lift the mood of the travelling fans slightly but with Pickering and Perks following close at hand ahead of Edwards – the Championship Shield title was all but in Leicester’s grasp 3-3, 35-19, agg 83-61, time 62.75
Heat 10: Nicholls (r) Proctor (b) Newman (w) Kerr (y ). Once again Lewi leads but once again Nicholls demonstrates what a class act he is by thundering under and past him on the run into the first bend of lap two – Kyle looked to have the third place point in the bag but on the run in Proctor stormed past to take the point and the 4-2, 39-21, agg 87-63, time 63.32
Heat 11: Douglas (r) Lawlor (b) Doolan (w) Stoneman (r/r) (y). Douglas hits first place out of the start with Doolan and Stoneman following in his tyre tracks but Lawlor comes to the party speeding through on the inside of both Eagles down the back straight – Doolan recovers to reclaim second spot and Nathan keeps up the chase but he couldn’t quite make up ground on Lawlor – a 4-2 it is and with that it is the Lions who are confirmed as Championship Shield winners and hearty congratulations to the Lions. I would say it was just as if they’d won the World Cup but I won’t – I said that once at a venue somewhere to the east of Eastbourne in another county (I think we know) and have never been allowed to forget it – suffice to say the Leicester fans are quite pleased.
Heat 12: Perks (r) Mountain (b) Newman (w) Edwards (y). A great race probably the best so far but another last ditch effort from Perks saw him snatch the win from Kyle coming out of the final bend Kyle had led all the way but just got pipped once again in sight of the line – Mountain took third at the expense of Jason and with that another 4-2 went the way of the Lions, 47-25, agg 95-67, time 64.32
Heat 13: Nicholls (r) Douglas (b) Doolan (w) Lawson (y). We’ll sing hosannah, we got a heat advantage – Eagles lead from the off and Douglas falls on the first turn – then Nicholls drops it coming out of bend two. He quickly remounted but leaving the Eagles in the 5-1 position – only until the third bend of lap three, however, when Doolan took a tumble – with Douglas already out of it the hope was that Doolan would remount but not so as he pushed it onto the centre green – Lawson takes the win from Nicholls and a 3-2 with it 49-28, agg 97-70, time 63.50
Heat 14: Pickering (r) Lawlor (b) Kerr (w) Stoneman (y). Crikey Moses (see Kev’s full set of biblical references now) Eagles take a second successive heat advantage – the 5-1 is looking in prospect as Kerr and Stoneman hit the front – a superb battle ensues as Pickering and Stoneman joust gamely with each other – the result finally went the way of the home rider but with Lewi taking the win it was a 4-2 to the visitors, 2-4, 51-32, agg 99-74, time 63.25. All we need is to turn the page of the programme and discover another 10 heats and Eagles could yet nick this.
Heat 15: Perks (r) Douglas (b) Lawson (w) Kerr (y). The fightback is short-lived as Douglas takes heat fifteen at a canter at the expense of Richard – Perks ensures that it a winning conclusion for the hosts as he heads Lewi to the flag – a 4-2 to finish 55-34 the score over the fifteen heats, the final aggregate resting at 103-76 – say again congratulations Leicester you fully deserved your victory; time 62.56
Images Credit: Mike Hinves, Tiffani Graveling Photography, Ian Smalley and Kevin Ling