Storm beaten as Fen Tigers make KO Cup progress

MILDENHALL Fen Tigers again had to work hard to hold off the Coventry Storm, eventually sealing the victory in the penultimate heat at West Row on Sunday afternoon.

MILDENHALL Fen Tigers again had to work hard to hold off the Coventry Storm, eventually sealing the victory in the penultimate heat at West Row on Sunday afternoon.

The two teams were closely matched when they met at West Row earlier in the season and so it proved this time as well. The points gap between the two teams was never more than four throughout the meeting and in fact Coventry went ahead briefly after scoring a 5-1 in heat eight although this was quickly reversed in the following heat.

Tiger’s number one, Stefan Nielsen put his bad evening at Stoke on Saturday behind him by roaring to a faultless five ride maximum. Jon Armstrong gave him strong support, despite still struggling with his knee injury with Dan Halsey & Josh Bates also taking important heat wins when needed. For Coventry the star of their team was new signing, Luke Crang, who scored 10+2 in his first full speedway meeting. British U21 champion, Robert Branford, was always in the thick of the action as well although he was beaten on four occasions on this visit. They were also served well by guest, Paul Starke, standing in for their number one Joe Jacobs who was racing for his Premier League team, Glasgow.

The meeting started well for Mildenhall with a 5-1 in the opening heat and they had a six point lead going in to heat four. At this point Coventry scored two consecutive 4-2’s to bring them back to only two points adrift. Heat six saw an alarming spill for Josh Bates after he attempted to blast past Paul Starke on the last bend while in 2nd place; fortunately he was soon up on his feet but with nothing to show for his efforts. Going in to heat eight the points gap was still two and with Luke Crang taking his second race win of the afternoon and team mate Martin Knuckey following him home Coventry were now two points ahead.

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The potent pairing of Josh Bates & Jon Armstrong soon pulled things back with a 5-1 of their own in heat nine. Three shared heats followed before Stefan Nielsen & Dan Halsey scored a 4-2 in heat fourteen eking out the gap to four points again. Jon Armstrong combined with Liam Rumsey in heat fourteen to secure victory with another 4-2 leaving Stefan to round off the afternoon with his fifth race win.

After the meeting Stefan was over the moon with his performance as his first bike had given up in the pre-meeting warmup and his second bike didn’t feel ‘fast enough’. He also said that he was glad it had been a close meeting as it gave better entertainment for the fans. Co-promoter, Michael Lee, “We made hard work of that but got there in the end. We do still have several things to work on with this team which is ongoing and I know that Jon was in some discomfort with his knee. We travel to Kent tomorrow which will be an unfamiliar track but hopefully we can get some points there”

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Mildenhall Fen Tigers 48

S Nielsen 15, J Armstrong 11, D Halsey 8, J Bates 6+1, A Baseby 4+1, L Rumsey 4, R Terry-Daley 0

Coventry Storm 42

R Branford 11, L Crang 10+2, P Starke 9+1, B Johnson 4+1, J Sarjeant 4, M Knuckey 3+1, L Geary 1+

Mildenhall win on aggregate 95-87

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