Grand Slam still possible for Fen Tigers after retaining KO Cup

Dudley Heathens 51 Mildenhall Fen Tigers 37 (Grand Final first leg) Dudley Heathens 41 Mildenhall Fen Tigers 32 (KO Cup Final 2nd leg Mildenhall win 93-74 on aggregate)

MILDENHALL Fen Tigers’ hopes of an historic Grand Slam are still alive after a hectic night of action at Dudley, which saw them go down by 14 points in the first leg of the Play-Off Final, as an injury-hit Heathens outfit dug deep for victory, but win the Knock Out Cup Final 93-74 on aggregate to retain the trophy.

Afterwards Fen Tigers’ co-promoter Kevin Jolly said, “It was hard work, we dropped some points we shouldn’t have and the conditions didn’t help both teams. We’ll sit the boys down before the second leg and get them fired up again. The final is far from over. We go well around Lynn and it promises to be a cracking second leg with everything still to play for. It was also brilliant to retain the KO Cup at the end of a long and tough night.”

The double header at Monmore Green opened with the first leg of the play-off on a difficult track that had been made greasy by late afternoon drizzle and mist.

That was underlined when Fen Tigers’ Jason Garrity came to grief while comfortably in front in the opening race. Thankfully though, Joe Jacobs took the race win.

Darryl Ritchings and James White-Williams then claimed a 5-0 for Dudley as Josh Bates fell victim to the conditions with his reserve partner Ryan Terry-Daley never making it to the start line because of bike problems.

Mildenhall struck straight back with their first heat advantage of the night, as Jacobs claimed his second win, with Danny Halsey third, as the Heathens’ Tom Perry came off.

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After a 4-2 from Dudley, the Fen Tigers grabbed a 5-1 from Garrity and Danny Halsey, as they took maximum points from the third running of Heat 5, a race that first time out saw the Heathens suffer a massive blow, with Perry taken to hospital with a broken thumb after a frightening first bend spill.

Adam Roynon and Dan Greenwood promptly did the same for Dudley to open a six point lead again. After a shared Heat 7 more controversy came in the next race as Greenwood fell, but the referee Graham Reeve allowed the race to carry on, causing Bates to fall as he tried to lap the stricken Heathen. Even then, to the amazement of both sets of fans, the race continued with both riders still on the track and the race finally finishing 3-2 to Dudley.

With the next four races all shared 3-3s, the Fen Tigers, led by the brilliant Jacobs, continued to frustrate the home side’s hopes of building a big first leg lead.

But then came the breakthrough Dudley needed, as Roynon and Ashley Morris grabbed a crucial 5-1 against Nielsen and Garrity to finally take their lead into double figures with two races left.

Morris and Ritchings repeated the feat in Heat 14 with a brilliant ride from Ritchings stealing second place from Halsey on the line. A shared final heat sets up a fascinating second leg at King’s Lynn’s Norfolk Arena tonight (Wednesday 24th October 7.30pm), the meeting being moved there as the Mildenhall track at West Row is unraceable after a weekend stock car meeting and the wet weather.

The Fen Tigers survived one or two early scares to retain the Knock-out Cup after taking a 28 point lead in to the second leg; the meeting being abandoned because of the curfew. Fen Tigers’ star of both meetings Joe Jacobs got the clinching win in Heat 12 giving Mildenhall an unassailable lead and making the score on the night 41-32 to Dudley.

Grand Final First Leg teams:

Dudley Heathens = 51

1. Adam Roynon 2, 3, 3, 2’, 2 = 12+1

2. Dan Greenwood 1’, 2, 2’, F, 0 = 5+2

3. Tom Perry Fx = 0 Withdrawn

4. R/R

5. Ashley Morris 3, 3, 2, 3, 3, 1’ = 15+1

6. Darryl Ritchings 3, 1, 3, 2, 1’, 2, 2’ = 14+2

7. James White-Williams 2’, 1, 0, 0, 1’, 1’ = 5+3

Mildenhall Fen Tigers = 37

1. Jason Garrity F, 2’, 3, 0, 3 = 8+1

2. R/R

3. Joe Jacobs 3, 3, 2, 2, 3, 0 = 13

4. Daniel Halsey 1, 3, 1’, 1’, 1 = 7+2

5. Stefan Nielsen 2, 1, 3, 1 = 7

6. Josh Bates Fx, 0, F, Fx, 0 = 0

7. Ryan Terry-Daley M, 0, 2, 0, 0 = 2

Knock Out Cup Second Leg teams:

Dudley Heathens = 41 (74)

1. Adam Roynon 3, 3, 3, 3 = 12

2. Dan Greenwood 0, 0, 0, Fx, 1’ = 1+1

3. R/R

4. Sean Phillips 0, 1, 0 = 1

5. Ashley Morris 3, 3, 3, 2 = 11

6. Darryl Ritchings 2’, 3, 1, 1’ = 7+2

7. James White-Williams 3, 2’, 2, 2 = 9+1

Mildenhall Fen Tigers = 32 (93)

1. Jason Garrity 1’, F, 3 = 4+1

2. R/R

3. Joe Jacobs 2, 2, 4!, 2, 3 = 13

4. Daniel Halsey 1’, 2, F, R = 3+1

5. Stefan Nielsen 1, 1’, 2 = 4+1

6. Josh Bates Fx, 2, 3, 1’, 0 = 6+1

7. Ryan Terry-Daley 1, F, 1, 0 = 2

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