Halsey top scores as Mildenhall avoid the wooden spoon

Dan Halsey, in red, top scored for the Fen Tigers against Mildenhall

Dan Halsey, in red, top scored for the Fen Tigers against Mildenhall - Credit: Archant

Dan Halsey led the way with 13+1 as Mildenhall Fen Tigers secured a 46-44 victory over Rye House Raiders on Sunday afternoon.

On a well-prepared track and with both teams giving their all, supporters were treated to an afternoon of exciting close racing with the Fen Tigers gaining the points required to ensure they don’t finish bottom of the National League for this season.

The visitors were also on a mission, with one point required to secure their place in the top four and a place in the Gold Trophy, and the action was fast and furious from heat one. Although Tom Bacon sizzled out of the start, Captain Danny Halsey struggled out of gate four and quickly found himself at the back of the field. He wasn’t to be deterred though and quickly chased down both Alfie Bowtell and Sam Chapman before executing smooth passes on both to join Bacon for an opening 5-1 advantage. It looked like more of the same in heat two as Jez Pestell and Luke Ruddick gated for the Fen Tigers, unfortunately a fall from Pestell when in front meant a tied heat. Excellent team riding from the visiting Lukes (Priest and Chessell) looked sure to bring the scores level in heat three but the battling Connor Coles wasn’t to be denied and was finally rewarded as he passed Chessell in the run to the line. A smart manoeuvre from Kyle Hughes in heat four saw him catch up and pass Bacon and the resultant tied heat saw the scores remain close at 13-11 to the Fen Tigers.

Heat five saw another fine race as Connor Mountain raced into the lead with all the action going on behind him. Again it was Coles who provided the excitement for the home fans as he passed both Chapman and Bowtell going round the third and fourth bends. Heat Six saw a great race between Halsey and Kyle Hughes as they passed and repassed before Halsey asserted for the victory. The meeting turned in heat seven as again some good team riding from Priest and Chessell held up Mountain’s charge and the first 5-1 of the afternoon for the visitors saw the Fen Tigers lead reduced to just two points. Further problems for the home side followed in heat eight when Ruddick looking comfortable in third stopped abruptly with a potential blown engine. Although Bacon streaked to victory the heat was tied and the gap remained at just two points. A super race between Coles and Bowtell for second place in heat eleven saw Bowtell finally gain the upper hand as the pair got extremely close in bend two, the second 5-1 of the afternoon bought the scores level for the first time at 33-33.

After a tied heat twelve another fine race between Halsey and Hughes saw Hughes come out on top and the visitors took the lead for the first time in the afternoon as they went two ahead. Heat fourteen saw the excellent Coles fire from the gate with Pestell passing Woods to take third, Chessell comfortable in second tried an ambitious pass round Coles going into the third bend of lap three and slid into the fence presenting the Fen Tigers with a 5-1 and an all-important two point lead going into the last race. Heat fifteen lived up to what had gone before with Halsey and Hughes again providing top entertainment as they passed and repassed before Halsey gained the upper hand, and even though Priest found a way past Coles the tied heat saw the Fen Tigers claim victory.

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To complete a fine afternoon Danny Halsey held off Kyle Hughes to claim the Bronze Helmet in another fine race where the

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