LEICESTER fought back from six points down to overcome Somerset 46-44 in a close-fought Challenge match opener at the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena.
Hans Andersen and Krystian Pieszczek starred for the Lions on debut with Andersen carding 13 points from five rides, whilst Pieszczek shared in three 5-1s on his way to 10+3.
World Champion Jason Doyle (11) won three races on his return to Rebels colours, but their 24-18 mid-meeting lead was overturned and Andersen’s second place ahead of Richard Lawson in Heat 15 clinched the Lions’ win.
Leicester boss Simon Stead said: “I’m pleased we got our first win on the board – there are no points, but it’s all good practice and we know what we need to do to improve.
“It was important that the lads all got some laps in, and we’ve got to be pleased with what we’ve seen, and we know we can get more out of some of them.”
Somerset manager Garry May said: “We ran them close and it was one of those meetings that could have gone either way, but I can have no complaints with the way the lads rode.
“There were plenty of good signs with all the riders earning at least one paid win each, apart from Jonas (Jeppesen), but he had a good solid debut and showed me enough to believe that he will win races once he gets used to the British tracks.”
GLASGOW manager Stewart Dickson has stepped down with immediate effect.
Dickson, who has been with the Ashfield outfit for nearly 20 years in various capacities, took charge of the Tigers in their home opener against Edinburgh last week before notifying the club of his decision on Monday.
Cami Brown will now step into the manager’s role, having been brought in as Dickson's assistant during the winter, supported by co-promoter Michael Max.
A club spokesman said: “The club would like to thank Stewart for his service and wish him well for the future.”
EDINBURGH have secured a team sponsorship deal with Staggs Bar from Musselburgh.
Proprietor Nigel Finlay has been a follower of Speedway since the 1960s, and regularly sponsors one of the Monarchs’ race jackets each season. They won Best Pub in the UK in 1998 and are celebrating their 160th birthday this year.
Finlay said: “I’m absolutely buzzing with it. It’s something I never expected to do but I feel quite privileged and a wee bit uber-excited about the whole thing!
“I’ve followed speedway for some time, but have had work commitments – I’m going to have to re-shuffle my shifts now!
“We always take one of the race jacket sponsors and at this year’s launch show I ended up sitting next to Dougie Newlands. We discussed what might be involved, I made phone calls to my brother and my other half, and I thought what a privilege and a chance of a lifetime to do this.”
NIELS-KRISTIAN Iversen says it’s good to be back after racing to a podium finish in Simon Stead’s Farewell meeting at Sheffield on Sunday.
The Danish star is back in British Speedway with King’s Lynn after a year away, and competed in meetings at Belle Vue and Owlerton over the weekend after his 2017 season was ended by a shoulder injury in August.
Iversen said: “It’s great to be back on the bike and I enjoyed the day, I felt pretty good.
“I’m not totally fit yet but that will only come with more meetings and I’m looking forward to that.
“It’s nice for me to be back racing in Britain and nice to be back with King’s Lynn. I’m looking forward to being busy again.”
KENT promoter Len Silver is in bullish mood following the club’s practice day at the nearby Iwade circuit last weekend.
The Kings are heading into their sixth season at National League level and have been a force for much of that time even though the major team honours have so far eluded them.
Silver said: “The whole practice session was very successful and in particular we saw all the team members helping each other to get things right. Whatever nagging doubts Chris (Hunt) and I might have had were dispelled.
“Chris and I are very, very confident that we have a team here which can win the League. The four challenge matches coming up - home and away against such quality opposition as Eastbourne and Birmingham - will test our mettle and we are all looking forward to the challenges ahead.”
WEDNESDAY MARCH 28:
CHALLENGE: Birmingham v Coventry 7.30
THURSDAY MARCH 29:
PREMIERSHIP: Swindon v Leicester 7.30
FRIDAY MARCH 30:
PREMIERSHIP KO CUP Q/F: (1st leg) Poole v Somerset 11am, (2nd leg) Somerset v Poole 7.30
CHAMPIONSHIP SHIELD: Ipswich v Lakeside 2.15, Lakeside v Ipswich 8pm
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Belle Vue v Coventry 1pm
SCOTTISH CUP 2nd leg: Edinburgh v Glasgow 7.30
EASTER CHASE 1st leg: Kent v Eastbourne 1pm
Results Monday March 26, 2018
Leicester 46 (Hans Andersen 13)
Somerset 44 (Jason Doyle 11)