Brilliant Fen Tigers secure top spot in National League after thumping Eastbourne

Mildenhall's Danny Halsey, red, and Matt Marson, blue. Photo: SPT Photos

Mildenhall's Danny Halsey, red, and Matt Marson, blue. Photo: SPT Photos - Credit: Archant

Mildenhall Fen Tigers 57 Eastbourne Eagles 33

The Mildenhall ‘KJM/Manchetts’ Fen Tigers produced another performance of speed and power in the Suffolk sunshine to secure top spot in the National League main season.

Forty six points out of a possible 48 leaves them in an unassailable position and the 24-point defeat of the highly talented Eastbourne ‘Eagles’ ranks as one the best of the season.

Mildenhall hit the ground running with new number one Danny Ayres blasting to victory in a fast time followed home by team mate Ryan Kinsley and when Matt Marson and Sam Bebee produced the same result in heat two the ‘Fen Tigers’ were quickly 10-2 ahead.

The ‘Eagles’ then gained a brief foothold in the meeting with a couple of drawn heats before the Fen Tigers pairing of Kinsley and Ayres produced another 5-1 with Ayres chasing Ethan Spiller before sweeping under the visiting youngster to join Kinsley.


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A second heat win from the flying Drew Kemp saw heat seven shared before the visitors stunned a big home crowd with a 5-1 in heat eight from their exciting youngsters Jason Edwards and Spiller.

Any thoughts of a Eastbourne comeback were short lived as some exquisite team riding from Josh Bailey and Jordan Jenkins saw another home 5-1 as the lead extended to 14 points.

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Heat ten caused much consternation among home fans as a classic piece of first bend bunching saw Ayres excluded when having nowhere left to go on the track. No one could have expected the response in the re-run from reserve Marson who produced a brilliant gate then kept the charging Mark Baseby at bay.

After the interval Marson was back out with Kemp and the youngsters secured an important 4-2 before more team riding this time from Bailey who covered the inside whilst Bebee charged round the outside saw the Fen Tigers safely home.

Heat 13 was another fine race as first Ayres swept past Brennan off the second bend before Kemp who was squeezed out in the early exchanges set after Wood and Brennan, a superb pass on Wood left the star teenager hunting down Brennan and though he threw everything at Brennan he just failed to get up on the line.

Heat fourteen saw most high class team riding from Captain Jenkins who helped guide home the impressive Marson for his third win of the day. Still the action wasn’t easing up and heat fifteen was producing another fine battle before Ayres bought down Baseby as he tried to squeeze through a small gap on bend one and the race was awarded leaving the Fen Tigers 57-33 winners.

Promoter Kevin Jolly was impressed with another powerful display: “This was a high class team performance make no mistake, from one through seven everyone was really up for this, and with a little fortune we would have passed sixty points.

“The top boys get lots of praise and limelight and rightly so, but today was all about Matt (Marson), he has been a little bit of a slow burner, but we have seen over recent matches it starting to really come together for him and today he was superb.”

Scorers –

Mildenhall Fen Tigers 57: Josh Bailey 13 (5 rides), Drew Kemp 10 (4), Matt Marson 10 (5), Danny Ayres 8+1 (5), Ryan Kinsley 6+1 (4), Jordan Jenkins 5+3 (4) and Sam Bebee 5+2 (4)

Eastbourne 33: Mark Baseby 11 (5 rides), Jason Edwards 5+1 (5), Georgie Wood 5 (4), Tom Brennan 5 (4), Ethan Spiller 4+1 (5), Charley Powell 2+2 (4) and Charlie Brooks 1 (3)

Tonight, the Fen Tigers travel to Kent in a League encounter.

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