Wrist injury to Sam Woods takes gloss off Mildenhall’s last heat win against Belle Vue Colts
- Credit: Gregg Brown
The ‘KJM/Manchetts’ Fen Tigers were given their sternest test to date in front of a big crowd in the Suffolk sunshine, winning 47-43 after the Belle Vue Colts took them to a last heat decider this afternoon.
Heat one set the tone for the meeting as the riders exchanged positions with Connor Mountain passing Kyle Bickley whilst Luke Ruddick held up Belle Vue number one Dan Bewley for three laps before the flying Colt found a way past. Heat two saw the returning Jordan Jenkins chase down and pass Luke Woodhall whilst an exciting battle for third place saw Sam Woods edge out Andy Mellish.
A brilliant heat four saw Danny Halsey and Jenkins hold off Georgie Wood as the Belle Vue guest tried everything to get by the two Fen Tigers. Heat five saw Bewley fly from the gate to record the fastest time of the season at Mildenhall, 50.7 seconds, whilst Jon Armstrong chased hard but to no avail.
The meeting hit a sour note for the Fen Tigers in heat seven when Woods clipped the fallen Bickley on the first bend and was withdrawn from the meeting with a wrist injury. The re-run saw a fine race as Halsey and Jack Smith interchanged positions before the Belle Vue man pulled away, meanwhile a second race was taking place at the back of the field as Jenkins hunted down Bickley before sweeping by.
Another fine start from Ruddick in heat eight, a race he is making his own at home, saw the Fen Tigers head into the second half of the meeting 10 points ahead.
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That lead was quickly cut to six as George Wood and Andy Mellish claimed a 51 for the visitors as Armstrong laid the bike down entering the final two bends. Ruddick gated again in heat 10 but was unable to hold off Smith and the gap remained at six points.
Another super fast win from Bewley in heat 11, with Bickley tucking into third, saw the lead down to four before the final four races were shared and the Fen Tigers ran out 47-43 winners.
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There was plenty of action in those late races with a slightly contentious exclusion in heat 12, whilst heat 13 saw Halsey and Mountain hold Bewley at the back.
Heat 14 saw Danno Verge excluded for a tapes infringement but the Fen Tiger showed great tenacity to chase down and pass Mellish for an all important point.
After the meeting Kevin Jolly was happy with the result but saddened by Woods injury. He said: “Today was a hard fought win make no mistake, and I thought the lads stuck to their task really well. The victory though has had its gloss taken off with the news that Sam Woods’ wrist injury could keep him out for up to six weeks. I have a replacement sorted thankfully and we will announce him early next week.
“Sam is a great team man and we will miss his input on and off the track. Typical of him he refused to go to hospital until after the meeting as he wanted to be there to support the lads.”
Mildenhall ‘KJM/Manchetts’ Fen Tigers – 47: Danny Halsey 10+1 (5 rides), Jon Armstrong 10 (5), Jordan Jenkins 9+2 (7), Connor Mountain 9 (4), Luke Ruddick 5+1 (4), Danno Verge 3+1 (4) and Sam Woods 1 (1).
Belle Vue ‘Cool Running’ Colts – 43: Jack Smith 11 (5 rides), Dan Bewley 10+1 (5), Georgie Wood 9 (4), Andy Mellish 6+1 (5), Kyle Bickley 6 (5), Luke Woodhall 1+1 (4), Ben Woodhall 0 (1) R/R Rob Shuttleworth.