Heathens prove too strong against a brave Mildenhall side. But it’s Cradley who are in pole position in this KO Cup clash, despite Dan Halsey’s 11 points

Mildenhall team manager Rob Henry with captain Dan Halsey.

Mildenhall team manager Rob Henry with captain Dan Halsey. - Credit: Archant

Mildenhall 39 Cradley 49

On a warm afternoon in front of a big West Row crowd the young Fen Tigers septet were put firmly in their place by a powerful Cradley Heathens team in the KO Cup.

As early as heat two, the writing was on the wall as the Heathens’ pairing of Phillips and Williamson flew from the gate for a comfortable 5-1 to give the visitors an advantage that they never relinquished all afternoon.

Dan Halsey and Connor Mountain combined for a 4-2 in heat three but it would be a further 11 heats before the Fen Tigers recorded another heat advantage when Brendan Johnson and Mountain raced to a facile 5-0 after Greaves had been excluded and Phillips retired in the re-run.

Paul Starke and Steve Worrall won six races between them as Cradley continued to tighten their grip on proceedings, the highlight of the afternoon being a fantastic chase and pass by Starke on Halsey in heat five that even the most biased home supporter could not have failed to admire.

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A final 5-1 from Starke and Worrall in heat 15 left the Fen Tigers with a mountain to climb as they head to Cradley on June 3 attempting to overcome a ten point deficit.

Team Manager Robert Henry felt it had been a bad afternoon for the Fen Tigers: “Unfortunately following Friday night’s excellent result the lads just couldn’t reproduce the type of performance needed to beat a side as powerful as Cradley.

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“The writing was on the wall as early as the second race when their reserves raced to victory.

I felt it should have been a lot closer than it was though and a couple of mistakes when in good positions cost us dearly.

“That said we are not out of the tie and will attack the second leg from the start and see what we can do.”

Mildenhall 39 – Jacobs 9 (5), Coles 4+2 (4), Halsey 11 (5), Mountain 3+1 (4), Bates 5 (4), Johnson 5+1 (4), Kingston 2 (4)

Cradley 49 – Starke 12+1 (5), R/R (Perry), Clegg 7+1 (5), Greaves 4 (5), Worrall 17 (6), Williamson 6+2 (5), Phillips 3+1 (4)

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