Mildenhall Fen Tigers set for huge play-off final clash against Eastbourne
Mildenhall Fen Tigers v Eastbourne Eagles, play-off final, second leg
Mildenhall Fen Tigers are geared up for one final push in their search for honours following a 54-35 reverse in the first leg of the National League Play Off final, at Eastbourne at the weekend.
A depleted Fen Tigers line-up, missing captain Jordan Jenkins, Danny Ayres and with Sam Bebee returning from injury, battled hard all evening, but went down by 19 points to the Eagles, to leave the tie nicely poised ahead of Thursday evening’s second leg at West Row, 7.30pm.
Chairman Kevin Jolly has moved quickly to secure ex-Fen Tiger and current Kent Kings Nathan Stoneman to guest for Ayres with rider replacement operating for Jenkins.
Stoneman has put in a number of hard racing performances against the Fen Tigers this season at their home track, including a scintillating paid 16 for Birmingham at the beginning of the month, and another paid 16 for Cradley in the second leg of the National Trophy final.
Unbeaten this season in 18 home meetings the Fen Tigers will be all out to turn the tie on its head and claw back the 20 points required for victory. Jolly has no doubts this is within his team’s capabilities.
“The boys have been brilliant all season and without some late season injuries I feel sure we would have been going for our third title of the season on Thursday evening,” he said.
“But we are where we are and I know the lads are up for turning round the deficit and bringing home the league title. Their efforts on Sunday evening in the first leg showed they were up for the fight and with Nathan joining us for Thursday evening I feel sure we have the ammunition to beat Eastbourne here for the fourth time this season.
Stadium availability issues has meant the meeting is running on a Thursday night for only the third time in the club’s history.
Mildenhall Fen Tigers: 1 Drew Kemp 2 R/R (Jordan Jenkins) 3 Josh Bailey 4 Ryan Kinsley 5 Nathan Stoneman 6 Matt Marson 7 Sam Bebee
Eastbourne Eagles: 1 Georgie Wood 2 Jason Edwards 3 Mark Baseby 4 Ethan Spiller 5 Tom Brennan 6 Charley Brooks 7 Charlie Powell