City's success rubs off on Riders

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The Independent Online

Leicester City Riders are determined there will be more than just a death rattle coming from their Granby Halls venue at the end of the season, which is due for demolition in the spring.

Long used to living in the shadow of the City's leading football and rugby clubs, this summer the Budweiser League team even had to contend with the county cricket team pushing them further down Leicester's list of sporting priorities.

An announcement is due next month on a new venue in the city, in which all four clubs will be involved.

Kevin Routledge, the Riders' director, is bullish that the end of one venue will herald a bright future for the club.Routledge, also chairman of the League, said: "Success for one of Leicester's clubs rubs off on the others and there is a buzz of sporting success around the city now."

The Riders hope they can cash in on the League's unpredictability now that five Americans are allowed per team, by challenging for the major titles and taking new support to the new venue.

Tomorrow the high scoring League leaders, Derby Storm, visit Granby Halls, averaging almost 100 points a game. The Riders coach, Bob Donewald, said: "If we get into a scoring battle with them we'll get beat. But if we slug it out defensively we have a chance."

The American John Treasvant, released by Manchester Giants in midweek, returns to the Nynex Arena tonight to face his former team-mates with his new club, London Leopards.

London Towers, who beat Tblisi 87-78 in mid-week, tune up for Tuesday's European Cup visit by Ankara with tomorrow's League game against Hemel and Watford Royals.

Sheffield Sharks' coach, Jim Brandon, accused his players of lacking courage after last week's defeat against Chester Jets in the first major upset of the season. Brandon's team face Thames Valley Tigers tonight and Worthing Bears tomorrow.