Jon Armstrong wins National Trophy for Mildenhall Fen Tigers in golden heat
- Credit: Archant
The Mildenhall Fen Tigers battled back from an 18-point deficit to win the National Trophy for a sixth time in a dramatic golden heat.
The Fen Tigers were trailing the Plymouth Devils after the first leg on Friday night, but were superb in West Row in the return clash.
They started the meeting in impressive style with two 4-2 courtesy of exciting prospects Jordan Jenkins and Drew Kemp, before captain Jon Armstrong and guest Anders Rowe combined for a 5-1 that saw the comeback on track as the deficit was reduced to just 10 points.
After a 4-2 to the Devils in heat five increased the gap to 12 points, Armstrong rode a superb line to join Connor Mountain for another 5-1 and the Fen Tigers were turning up the pressure.
When Mountain and Kemp combined for a third 5-1 in heat eight the Fen Tigers were only four behind. Two drawn heats saw the meeting move the to the interval with Plymouth holding a 77-71 advantage overall.
The wheels looked to have come off the Fen Tigers juggernaut in heat eleven when Jenkins crashed heavily on the final bend chasing Ben Morley, the race awarded as a 5-1 to the visitors.
For many teams that would have been the end of the meeting, but with the tremendous spirit amongst the Fen Tigers they rallied and came again, levelling the tie at 90-90 after a dramatic heat 15.
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So the 2017 National Trophy was to be decided on a golden heat, Plymouth going with Josh Bailey whilst Captain Armstrong stepped forward for the Fen Tigers.
Bailey slightly lifted at the gate whilst Armstrong came out fast and smooth and as the noise in the stadium reached a crescendo the Fen Tiger legend raced away to victory and won the National Trophy for the Fen Tigers – a sixth time in 14 seasons.
Promoter Kevin Jolly said: “This was a wonderful day for the club and yet again we have seen some incredible speedway at Mildenhall.
“What can you say about Armo, he truly was ‘Captain Fantastic’ today leading both on and off the track as he does. When riding like he did today he is the true master of our track and no one would argue with that.”
Mildenhall Fen Tigers 56
Connor Mountain 14 (6 rides), Jon Armstrong 12+4 (6), Drew Kemp 10+4 (6), Jordan Jenkins 8 (5), Anders Rowe 8 (4), Alex Spooner 2 (3) and R/R Danny Halsey
Plymouth Devils 34
Ben Morley 11 (5 rides), Josh Bailey 11 (6), Henry Atkins 7+1 (5), Richard Andrews 3+1 (5), Callum Walker 2 (6), Jason Edwards 2 (3) and R/R Benji Compton
Golden Heat – Jon Armstrong (Mildenhall) beat Josh Bailey (Plymouth)