Fen Tigers are tamed at Dudley
Mildenhall Fen Tigers battled hard before finally being beaten in their top of the table clash with Dudley Heathens at Monmore Green on Tuesday night.
On a track made tricky by intermittent showers, the Fen Tigers stayed in touch with the league leaders in the early stages before falling to their first away defeat of the season.
In the end, being without their Number 1 Cameron Heeps, and the home side’s top-end strength led by Adam Roynon, well backed up by reserve Tom Perry, left the Mildenhall side with too much to do.
A series of shared heats in the middle of the meeting gave the Suffolk side hope of picking up a valuable away point. But the match was effectively ended as a contest when referee Margaret Vardy controversially excluded Fen Tigers’ skipper Lewis Blackbird after he had seemingly been knocked off by the Heathens Dan Greenwood in Heat 9. With Greenwood and Bryon Bekker racing to a 5-1 maximum in the re-run, Dudley took a 14 point lead leaving the Fen Tigers with no way back.
It was teenager Josh Bates whose ‘never say die’ approach is winning new admirers by the meeting, who claimed Mildenhall’s first win of the night in Heat 12 with Stefan Nielsen tucked in behind him to reduce the deficit to 44-32.
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And then to the delight of the travelling support, Blackbird defeated Roynon, just holding off the home star in the battle of the skippers. With Ashley Morris having to bail out, the resulting 4-2 again gave the Fenmen hope of that precious away point. But in the penultimate heat those hopes were finally dashed as the battling Bates fell, leaving an out of sorts Danny Halsey to finish third behind Perry and Greenwood.
The meeting finished on a high though, as Mildenhall’s Man of the Match Joe Jacobs inflicted the second defeat of the night on Roynon, taking the Fen Tigers’ tally to a more than respectable 40 points.
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Afterwards co-promoter Michael Lee said, “The boys battled hard, but the rain in the early stages didn’t help. With a bit more luck we could have picked up a point, but Josh fell when he was in front and Stefan had clutch problems all night. Full credit to Lewis and Joe, as it’s not many who get the better of Adam Roynon around Monmore Green. In the end, though, Dudley deserved their win, no doubt about that.”
Lee also confirmed that the recent differences between the two clubs have been resolved amicably. “There has been a series of unfortunate events, but we’ve had a discussion and I am delighted to say the good relations between ourselves have been restored.
Both Mildenhall and Dudley are now looking forward to possible meetings in the KO Cup and Play-Offs which, if they happen, will take place in the right atmosphere, where everyone can concentrate on enjoying some cracking speedway.”
Dudley Heathens: 54
1. Adam Roynon -- 3 3 3 2 2 = 13
2. Darryl Ritchings -- 1 0 1 1 = 3
3. Byron Bekker -- 3 3 3 R = 9
4. Dan Greenwood -- 0 0 2’ 2’ = 4+2
5. Ashley Morris -- 3 2’ 1 F = 6+1
6. Tom Perry -- 3 3 3 3 3 1’ = 16+1
7. James White-Williams -- 1 1 1 = 3
Mildenhall Fen Tigers: 40
1. Lewis Kerr (G) -- 0 1’ 0 1 = 2+1
2. Joe Jacobs -- 2 2 4! 2 3 = 13
3. Stefan Nielsen -- 2 1 4! 2’ F = 9+1
4. Daniel Halsey -- 1’ Fx 0 1 = 2+1
5. Lewis Blackbird -- 2 2 X 3 = 7
6. Ryan Terry-Daley -- 0 1’ 1 = 2+1
7. Josh Bates -- 2 0 Fx 3 Fx = 5