Powerful Mildenhall Fen Tigers build up a big lead over Stoke Potters in KO Cup
- Credit: Gregg Brown
Mildenhall Fen Tigers 57 Stoke Potters 33
Another powerful home performance from the Mildenhall Fen Tigers saw them put one foot firmly into the KO Cup semi-finals after a 57-33 KO Cup, first leg win over Stoke Potters at West Row.
In front of a good crowd on a rare Tuesday evening fixture the Fen Tigers steadied the ship after a slow start to then put the Potters to the sword as they built up an impressive 24 point lead to take the Potteries in the second leg.
Stoke won the first two heats to take an early four point lead before the Fen Tigers got into their stride in heat three with the first of seven 5-1s, the returning Luke Ruddick and captain Jon Armstrong leaving Tony Atkin and Luke Priest in their wake.
Heat four saw Danny Halsey and Danno Verge repeat the dose as the Fen Tigers set about building a big lead.
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Impressive Stoke No.1 Mitchell Davey won his second race of the evening in heat five before the 5-1s continued, this time from Connor Mountain and Jordan Jenkins.
Heat seven saw the race of the evening as Halsey lined up Priest before producing a stunning outside pass coming off the final two bends, before Jenkins and Verge put the Fen Tigers 12 points ahead with another 5-1 in heat 8.
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The fast starting Ruddick was a convincing winner of heat nine, before the exciting Mountain/Jenkins partnership rammed home another 5-1 in heat 10 to put the home side 18 up. A third heat win from Davey was a brief respite but two more 5-1s in heats 13 and 15 from Mountain and Halsey saw the Fen Tigers and their fans finish the evening in buoyant mood.
For chairman Kevin Jolly, it was another pleasing home performance: “The lads put on another fine show tonight and at the moment look so professional and organised at home,” he said.
“They are hungry for the points and were in no mood to ease up once we had Stoke on the back foot. I am very pleased with a 24-point lead and although we will not be complacent in the second leg I am expecting us to do a professional job and go through to the semi finals.
“Having Luke (Ruddick) back was a major bonus for us and he immediately slotted back into the team like he hadn’t been away.
“Sam (Woods) had a more difficult time tonight but he has proved while out what a fine team man he is and now we will give him the support as he eases his way back into the team.
“We are a match for anyone at home.”
Fen Tigers: Connor Mountain 14 (5 rides), Danny Halsey 11+3 (5), Jon Armstrong 9 (4), Luke Ruddick 8+2 (4), Danno Verge 8+2 (5), Jordan Jenkins 7+2 (4) and Sam Woods 0 (3)
Stoke: Mitchell Davey 11 (5 rides), Luke Priest 6 (5), Ryan Terry-Daley 6 (4), Tony Atkin 3+2 (4), Paul Burnett 3 (4), Lee Dicken 2 (4) and Shaun Tedham 2 (4)