Mildenhall Fen Tigers grab a fine victory at West Row over Kent as boss Robert Henry praises his team

Dan Halsey

Dan Halsey - Credit: Gregg Brown

After a decidedly average performance at Central Park on Good Friday the ‘KJM/Manchetts’ Fen Tigers bounced back in style to take the first running of the ‘Easter Chase’.

Trailing by ten points from the first leg where only Jon Armstrong and Jordan Jenkins performed to their best, a first heat 5-1 against the home team by Luke Clifton and Luke Bowen immediately increased the margin to 14.

The Fen Tigers reserve pairing of Sam Woods and Jordan Jenkins replied in kind with a fine 5-1 in heat two Woods laying down his bike expertly to avoid the fallen Alex Spooner. The lead was cut to six points in heat four with Danny Halsey showing off some fine team riding skills with Jenkins to secure a second meeting 5-1 for the Fen Tigers.

There was some fine racing on view despite the forecast heavy rain making track preparation particularly difficult none more so than in heat six where fast starting Luke Ruddick was passed by Nathan Stoneman before re-passing the Kings rider with a stylish inside move. Unfortunately fate was to step in as Ruddick’s bike packed up preventing another 5-1 for the home side.

With Halsey suffering bike problems in Heat Seven a 5-1 from fast starting Ben Hopwood and Jack Thomas reduced the Fen Tigers lead to only two points, eight behind with seven heats left!

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A piece of magic from the master Jon Armstrong in heat nine as he passed the field round the outside on bends two and three, supported by Jenkins in third cut the overall lead to six.

This was followed by the ride of the day as a Kent 5-1 turned into a 3-3 when Connor Mountain executed two sweet passes on Hopwood and Thomas.

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This was followed up by two home 5-1’s as first Halsey and Woods, and then Armstrong and Jenkins turned the meeting on its head and the Fen Tigers were finally in front. Following an exclusion for Bowen in heat thirteen Halsey and Mountain raced to a third successive 5-1 as the Fen tigers took control of the meeting. Another fine race between Thomas and Woods was a precursor for a fourth 5-1 in five races as Armstrong and Halsey completed a well deserved 55-35 victory in fine style.

Team Manager Robert Henry was much happier with his charges.

“Everybody in the team contributed today which is what we want, they all can take credit from the meeting and today I saw so much promise and potential in our lads,” he said.

“Our heat leaders all looked on their game and the boys at the bottom were excellent. Sam, Luke and Danno all have something to build on after an afternoon where they all showed real spirit and no little skill, they all pleased me and the overall team spirit was right. Jordan again defied his inexperience with some intelligent team riding with Danny and Jon. We head off to Cradley tomorrow in good shape and although it is never easy to win there we are going there to put on a show and bring something back home with us in our opening league meeting”

Scorers –

First Leg

Kent ‘SLYDE’ Kings 49 – Jack Thomas 12+2 (5 rides), Ben Hopwood 9+2 (4), Nathan Stoneman 9+1 (4), Luke Clifton 4 (4), Alex Spooner 3 (5) and Bradley Andrews 0 (3).

Mildenhall ‘KJM/Manchetts’ Fen Tigers 41 – Jordan Jenkins 11+2 (6 rides), Jon Armstrong 10 (5), Connor Mountain 9 (5), Danny Halsey 5 (4), Sam Woods 2+1 (3), Danno Verge 2+1 (4) and Luke Ruddick 0 (3).

Second Leg

Mildenhall ‘KJM/Manchetts’ Fen Tigers 55 – Danny Halsey 13 (5 rides), Jon Armstrong 11+3 (5), Jordan Jenkins 10+2 (5), Connor Mountain 8+1 (4), Sam Woods 7+1 (4), Danno Verge 4+1 (4) and Luke Ruddick 2+1 (4).

Kent ‘SLYDE’ Kings 35 – Ben Hopwood 10 (5 rides), Luke Clifton 7 (4), Jack Thomas 6+2 (5), Nathan Stoneman 6 (4), Luke Bowen 4+1 (4), Bradley Andrews 2+1 (4) and Alex Spooner 0 (4).

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