Fen Tigers finish fourth in Fours

Mildenhall Fen Tigers battled back from a difficult start to finish a highly commendable third in a closely contested National League 4TT finals at Stoke.

Mildenhall Fen Tigers battled back from a difficult start to finish a highly commendable third in a closely contested National League 4TT finals at Stoke.

Captain Danny Halsey made a fast start in Heat one of the Fen Tigers group and looked set for three points until unluckily sliding off on the final bend of the race. Things took a turn for the worse in Heat two when young Josh Bates came to grief chasing hard behind Coventry’s Oliver Greenwood and Kings Lynn’s Darren Mallett. At this point it looked a difficult ask for the Fen Tigers to even qualify for the final, but they pulled together and produced a run of three wins and three seconds to amass fifteen points, only one less than group winners Kings Lynn. Nathan Stoneman set the Fen Tigers on their way with an excellent second before heat wins for Bates, Armstrong and Halsey saw them safely through. On the other side of the draw Kent and Dudley headed their group.

The final was a closely fought affair between the four well matched finalists and after four heats all four teams were equal on six points. A second in Heat five from Bates followed by a pillar to post victory from Captain Halsey in Heat six saw the Fen Tigers a point ahead of Kent on eleven with Dudley back in third on eight points. However the controversial exclusion in Heat six of Kings Lynn’s Lewis Rose after the heat had ended, for ‘unfair’ riding on Ashley Morris, kept Dudley in contention and ultimately helped them secure victory as first Paul Starke and then in an exciting final race ex- Fen Tiger Lewis Blackbird secured the wins to lift the trophy for Dudley. Kent finishing a fine second with Mildenhall third two points behind Kent.

Club Chairman Kevin Jolly was pleased with the efforts of the Fen Tiger quartet -

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“After a bad start to the meeting the lads showed the resilience and team spirit that has seen us come back before from difficult positions and today was no different. It was a fine and gutsy performance with all the team contributing and I couldn’t have asked for anymore from the lads. After Tuesday’s poor display they gave us the perfect response that we were looking for. It was good to be able to put on this display in front of our loyal travelling support who once again backed us all the way. I was pleased to see Nathan (Stoneman) amongst the points, he rode well and got us going in the group stage, he should take confidence from today’s performance. Overall there were plenty of positives today and now we move on to next Sunday and a very important league fixture against Stoke”.

Group A – Kings Lynn 16, Mildenhall 15 (Jon Armstrong 5, Nathan Stoneman 4, Danny Halsey 3 and Josh Bates 3), Isle of Wight 10 and Coventry 7.

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Group B – Dudley 17, Kent 12, Stoke 11 and Buxton 8.

Grand Final – Dudley 14, Kent 13, Mildenhall 11 (Danny Halsey 5, Josh Bates 4, Jon Armstrong 2 and Nathan Stoneman 0), and Kings Lynn 10.

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