Kent Kings set for Grand Final
Kent Kings set for Grand Final

With Monday’s first leg of the National League [NL] Grand Final postponed due to a waterlogged Central Park track, the opening salvos of the Play Off title-deciding clash between Kent & Leicester shifts today to the East Midlanders’ Paul Chapman & Sons Arena (7.30pm start time). 

And all is set fair for the much-anticipated Grand Final to get underway – with the TouchTec Kings looking to do what they memorably achieved in the semi final against Belle Vue Colts by paving the way for overall two legged success by stopping their hosts from building a big lead on their home track.

If the challenge of doing that had been difficult in the semi, it’s doubly so against the Lion Cubs who have certainly roared in the home NL matches this term – unbeaten in all competitions and in doing so never failing thus far to reach the 50 points mark.

However Chris Hunt’s charges have been the best visitors holding Leicester at the end of August to a 51-39 margin of victory – and this was without Rob Ledwith, Jordan Jenkins & Alex Spooner; all back in their ranks for the big match today which should make a significant difference to their chances.

Top scorers last time for the Kings were Anders Rowe and Dan Gilkes (on a first competitive full meeting at Leicester’s splendid track) recording 13 points each. Kent will track two more Leicester first-timers this time too, at opposite ends of the age range: 15-year-old Jake Mulford (who tasted Grasstrack success again at the weekend) and the skipper Rob Ledwith. 

Drew Kemp has been boosted by the news that he’s been selected to make his full Great Britain international debut for the national side against Denmark a King’s Lynn next week.

For the hosts, Ellis Perks comes straight from a starring role for his SGB Premiership side Swindon in their own Grand Final. Perks recorded four heat wins when the sides met at Beaumont Park in August, as did Danyon Hume and there’s no doubt their big two are among the strongest in the league.  The third heat leader berth is covered by Rider Replacement [R/R] because Luke Ruddick is deemed as withholding services following his absence from the Lion Cubs’ double-header against Cradley and Stoke earlier this month. Any of the members of the Leicester side with the exception of No.1 Perks are eligible to take an extra ride under the R/R facility.

Leicester reserves Josh Emberton & the Kiwi, Ryan Terry-Daley were big scorers back in August but the TouchTec Kings are much strengthened in the no, 6 & no. 7 berths now that Mulford has come into the side and Spooner is back from injury and how the reserves perform especially in match ups between them is likely to be crucial.

A large contingent of Kings’ fans are expected to attend keeping up the record of being the best supported away side on the road in the NL – their destination is Leicester Lions Speedway Track & Pavilion, Beaumont Sports Complex, Beaumont Park, 1 The Lions, Leicester, Leics LE4 1DZ with the action underway at 7.30pm

Teams [in alphabetical order]:

Leicester Lion Cubs: Josh Emberton; Danyon Hume; Ellis Perks, Ryan Terry-Daley; Dan Thompson; Joe Thompson; Rider Replacement for Luke Ruddick; No. 8 tba

Kent TouchTec Kings:  Dan Gilkes;  Jordan Jenkins; Drew Kemp;  Rob Ledwith, Jake Mulford;  Anders Rowe; Alex Spooner