Double dose of Bank Holiday action for the Fen Tigers and fans have a chance to meet Josh Bates - the British Under-21 champion - at West Row on Sunday
- Credit: Archant
Following a rare home defeat in their last meeting the Fen Tigers are hungry for League points this weekend with seven being on offer with the Devon Demons visiting West Row on Sunday (3.30 start) before they head off to the Garden of England to face the Kent Kings on Bank Holiday Monday.
The Fen Tigers will be missing their number one rider Joe Jacobs for both meetings with James Sarjeant coming in on Sunday whilst Rider Replacement will be utilised at Kent.
Devon will be without Matt Bates on Sunday due to a prior commitment. Brendan Johnson returns to the Fen Tigers line up following a bout of illness and has just returned from a racing trip to Belgium. It will be the first time a Plymouth / Devon side has raced at Mildenhall since the 2006 season when the Fen Tigers won an exciting Conference League fixture by 49 – 44. In the visitors side that day and on Sunday is ex Fen Tiger and current ‘fast track’ rider with Elite League Poole Pirates Lee Smart. Smark will be hoping for a better return than the two points he scored back in 2006!
Gates open at 2pm with this weeks ‘Meet the Rider’ being British U21 Champion and Fen Tiger Josh Bates. Josh will have his U21 Trophy with him and the latest card from the popular collector’s card series will be available. Josh will be signing autographs and having photographs taken with fans outside the pit area.
Monday sees an afternoon start (3.00) at Central Park as the Fen Tigers look to overcome a strong Kings line-up. Sometimes ‘Villain of the piece’ at West Row Simon Lambert leads a powerful and experienced top end, supported by in form Ben Morley, Benji Compton and ex Fen Tiger David Mason. Morley being a regular guest choice for Mildenhall and recently having the honour of being the first National League rider under the Fast Track system to score a paid maximum in the Elite League riding for Lakeside Hammers, Morley was unbeaten by an opponent as he recorded a paid 12 score against the Swindon Robins. Luke Chessell, Brandon Freemantle and exciting newcomer Luke Harris make up their septet.
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Although missing Jacobs again the Fen Tigers will approach the meeting with confidence especially with two ex-Kings riders from 2013 in their ranks, Jack Kingston and Connor Coles. Dan Halsey and Brendan Johnson have both enjoyed successful trips to Central Park in the past and newly crowned British U21 Champion Josh Bates is a handful wherever he races.
It all adds up to a cracking afternoon of National League racing in prospect, with a possible extra race on offer in the shape of the Bronze Helmet. Current holder Simon Lambert will be defending the helmet over two away matches prior to Monday’s meeting and should he be successful the meeting will open with his latest defence!
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Club Chairman Kevin Jolly is clear on his expectations this coming weekend –
“This Sunday is the start of two busy days for us, with Monday seeing us head off to Kent for the Bank Holiday fixture against the Kings. Neither meeting will be easy but there are seven points up for grabs and you can be sure we will be all out to bag the lot. There’s bags of potential in our line-up for sure and although Joe (Jacobs) will again be a big miss, in James Sarjeant I think we have bought in a good guest who always gives 100%. We need to hit the ground running and not let Devon into the meeting, and have our gating boots on as we struggled in that area last time. The same applies on Monday and all six will need to be on their game at Kent, as make no mistake they are a decent side with a very strong top end.
“We will go there to win and I know that our excellent support will be out in force and will get right behind the lads and cheer them on. We have decided that in the circumstances and with rider availability on Monday to use Rider Replacement for Joe and give the other lads the extra rides. Of course Connor (Coles) and Jack (Kingston) both have plenty of experience of riding the Kent track from last season and hopefully they will put that to good use for us.”
Sundays Teams -
Mildenhall Fen Tigers - 1. James Sarjeant (Guest 8.71) 2. Jack Kingston 4.20 3. Josh Bates 7.49 4. Brendan Johnson 4.84 5. Dan Halsey 7.43 © 6. Connor Mountain 3.00 7. Connor Coles 3.67
Devon Demons - 1. Tim Webster 8.43 2. Matt Bates (R/R 4.63) 3. Ben Reade 7.70 4. Danny Stoneman 4.29 5. Lee Smart 5.76 6. James Shanes 3.46 7. Richard Andrews - 3.41
Mondays Teams –
Kent Kings - 1. Simon Lambert 9.46 2. Luke Chessell 4.22 3. David Mason 6.38 4. Benji Compton 6.37 5. Ben Morley 7.13 6. Luke Harris 3.00 7. Brandon Freemantle 3.00
Mildenhall Fen Tigers - 1. R/R (for Joe Jacobs 8.71) 2. Jack Kingston 4.20 3. Josh Bates 7.49 4. Brendan Johnson 4.84 5. Dan Halsey 7.43 © 6. Connor Mountain 3.00 7. Connor Coles 3.67