Fen Tigers have nothing to show from rusty performance at Rye House
- Credit: Archant
Rye House 51 Mildenhall Fen Tigers 40
A somewhat rusty-looking Fen Tigers septet took came away from their opening meeting at Rye House with nothing to show from a performance that had flashes of promise mixed with some bad luck plus an unfortunate head injury that saw Liam Rumsey withdrawn from the meeting.
A bizarre heat one set the tone for the evening with the heat being run three times and ending with no Fen Tiger representative.
After captain Danny Halsey was excluded, the same fate fell on race partner Rumsey, though an innocuous looking fall turned out to be his final action of the evening as a bang on the head resulted in his withdrawal with concussion.
Heat two was much more to the visitors liking with their new reserve pairing of Luke Ruddick and Tom Bacon taking a 5-1, Ruddick taking the chequered flag to record a victory in his first National League race.
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With the Raiders looking much sharper from the gate they soon built a nine-point lead before Bacon and Ruddick combined again in heat eight to reduce the deficit.
By Heat 10 Mildenhall were 11 points in arrears and a tactical ride was given to Connor Mountain. Sadly a fall for Jack Kingston negated any chance of a heat victory as Mountain finished behind Robert Branford.
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Heat wins for Halsey and Mountain, with a fine pass outside Luke Priest, in heats 11 and 12 showed the Fen Tigers warming to their task but they could do nothing to reduce the deficit and the Raiders ran out deserved winners by 51-40.
After the meeting Team Manager Robert Henry was in philosophical mood: “Tonight certainly blew away some cobwebs and it was good for the lads to get a meeting under their belts.
“The track was a little tricky but it was the same for both sides and the Raiders adapted better than we did.”
On Sunday the British U-21 semi-final took place at West Row, with Connor Mountain the only Mildenhall rider to qualify for the final.
Rye: L Chessell 13, R Branford 12, L Priest 9+2, K Hughes 8, S Woods 6+1, G Hunter 2+1, D Hume 1
Mildenhall: C Mountain 12, D Halsey 8+1, C Coles 6+1, L Ruddick 6+1, T Bacon 5+1, J Kingston 3+1, L Rumsey 0