Leicester made the start to the season that they were hoping for with a win against Swindon in the Premiership by 48 points to 42.
It was the first time that the Lions have won their opening home fixture since becoming members of the top tier and it began on a confident note when Kim Nilsson and Erik Riss outpaced Jason Doyle in Heat 1.
Points were dropped on three occasions when their riders were in scoring positions which prevented the Watling JCB Lions from extending their early lead and the Robins twice leveled the scores through excellent riding by Nick Morris.
The breakthrough came with back-to-back heat wins at the halfway stage and Josh Bates was at the centre of the flurry when he teamed up with Nicolai Klindt. The British Under-21 Champion took the shortest route around the newly shaped bends to pass David Bellago to secure second place behind Klindt and in the next he was smartly away followed by Riss.
The visitors were now eight points adrift but they clawed back two points courtesy of Leicester when Kacper Gomolski crashed for a second time in the meeting whilst holding third place on the final bend.
The points were shared in the next three heats and then Morris added another win to his total but Nilsson managed to split him and Doyle. Lasse Bjerre who was replacing Josh Auty was in top form on his former track and he finished ahead of David Bellago and with Bates settling for third the result sealed the match points for the Lions.
Nilsson then completed a good night’s work in the final heat to inflict the first defeat on the flying Morris which rounded off a positive night’s work for the Lions.
“The result was a great tonic for the team and also the fans as I am told Leicester have never won their opening match at home of three years in the Elite League. It was unfortunate that we dropped a few early points through falls and I am pleased to say it did not unsettle my riders who remained focused throughout” said the Lions Team Manager, Jim Lynch.
LEICESTER 48: Josh Bates 14+1, Lasse Bjerre 11, Kim Nilsson 10, Erik Riss 7+2, Nicolai Klindt 5+1, Kacper Gomolski 1, Danny Ayres 0.
SWINDON 42: Nick Morris 13+1, Jason Doyle 8+1, David Bellego 7, Emil Grondal 6+1, Zach Wajtknecht 4+1, Adam Ellis 3+3, Bradley Wilson-Dean 1.