Injury-hit Mildenhall Fen Tigers draw at home to Buxton Hitmen
PUBLISHED: 20:28 03 September 2017
Mildenhall Fen Tigers must have run over more than one black cat, as bad luck struck before Sunday's 45-45 home draw with Buxton Hitmen.
Already missing Luke Ruddick through a sickness bug, reserve Danno Verge flipped off the back of his bike on the parade lap, suffering a shoulder injury that took him out of the meeting.
With number eight William O’Keefe called into the team to join Alex Spooner, the inexperienced youngsters suddenly had 11 rides to take between them including three rider replacement rides.
The Fen Tigers struggled in the early heats, and a 5-1 in heat four saw the visitors take an early six-point lead.
Two heats later it was eight points as Max Clegg and Lee Geary combined for a 4-2 over Connor Mountain and Spooner.
Heat wins from Halsey and Jon Armstrong in heats seven and eight kept the gap at eight but the Fen Tigers were struggling for heat advantages.
Heat nine saw only the second home heat advantage of the afternoon as Armstrong produced a classic captain’s ride to go round the outside of Clegg. With Jordan Jenkins chasing hard to the line the gap was reduced to six.
Heat 11 saw the gap reduced to four points when Halsey beat Matt Williamson, with Spooner in third.
Suddenly the home support were sensing another exciting finale at West Row and after another win for Armstrong in heat 12, Mountain and Halsey produced a masterful heat 13 to leave Williamson and Clegg in their wake.
The score was 39-39 with all to play for in the final two races but although Jenkins produced a brilliant move round Tom Woolley and the impressive Jamie Halder, Spooner couldn’t find a way past and it was all level with one race left.
Mountain gated with Halsey close up behind Williamson in third and it looked like once again the hosts were set to provide another big turn around.
This time it wasn’t to be as Williamson found good speed to pass Mountain and the meeting ended tied.
Saturday saw the Fen Tigers secure their KO Cup semi-final spot, despite losing 49-41 on the evening at Stoke Potters.