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This Sunday sees the eagerly awaited clash between the Mildenhall ‘KJM’ Fen Tigers and the Cradley Heathens. In recent seasons these clashes have been highly tense affairs and with both sides looking to make their push into the play-off places this season will surely be no different.
Both teams have strong home records but are yet to win away, Cradley arriving on the back of four straight away defeats whilst the Fen Tigers have been getting closer to that elusive away victory following a two point defeat at Kent and a one point reversal at the Isle of Wight on Tuesday. Tuesday night went down to the wire with a Heat 15 match race between Fen Tigers No 1 Connor Mountain and the Islanders No 1 Ex-Fen Tiger Joe Jacobs to decide the outcome.
The defeat had similarities to the recent defeat at Kent as the Fen Tiger again led by six points before the home side edged to victory in the final heat. However, the performance on Tuesday had much merit as the Fen Tigers travelled without Captain Jon Armstrong due to family reasons, and although missing his skill and experience stuck to their task manfully throughout the meeting.
The KJM Fen Tigers hopefully will be at full strength on Sunday whilst the Heathens arrive without their two Ex-Fen Tigers Jack Kingston and James Purchase, Kingston taking an extended break from the sport while Purchase suffered an injury in Mondays KO Cup victory over Buxton!
The Fen Tigers welcome back Rob Parker on Sunday after a bout of pneumonia, Parker taking his place in the ‘Stonefield Farm Shop’ Fen Tiger Cubs line up for a Midland Development fixture against the Kings Lynn Lightning.
Promoter Kevin Jolly is in a positive mood ahead of Sundays must win fixture, he said: “The Heathens are as usual a power packed side at the top end with Max Clegg and Ashley Morris leading the team, but a slightly weaker lower end in order to accommodate these two has seen them struggle to date to win away from Monmore Green. We will be doing all we can to ensure that struggle continues on Sunday afternoon!
The team is really coming together and I was very proud of them all on Tuesday at the Isle of Wight. All six riders gave 100% and were desperate to win, sadly we fell short by the smallest of margins but we will get this monkey off our back very soon of that I am sure. This side is capable of getting some away wins on the board and a play off place is very much within our sights.
It is good to see Rob Parker returning to action this weekend, in the MDL, and with Sam Bebee due to return within the next month there is certainly plenty of competition at the bottom end now which can only be good as it will focus the riders even more.
Sundays Team Lineups:
Mildenhall 'KJM' Fen Tigers
1. Connor Mountain 8.60, 2. Alfie Bowtell 3.76, 3. Danny Halsey 8.24, 4. Connor Coles 5.56, 5. Jon Armstrong (C) 7.74, 6. Luke Ruddick 3.30, 7. Chris Widman 3.04
Team managers - James Easter & Phil Kirk
Cradley 'Motor Market' Heathens
1. Ashley Morris 9.91, 2. Ben Basford 3.74, 3. Luke Chessell 9.38, 4. R/R (Jack Kingston) 5.84, 5. Max Clegg (C) 9.67, 6. Layne Cupitt 3.00, 7. Bradley Andrews 3.67, 8. TBA
Team manager - Will Pottinger
‘Stonefield Farm Shop’ Fen Tiger Cubs
1. Taylor Hampshire, 2. Connor King, 3. Alex Spooner, 4. Robert Parker
Team manage - Phil Kirk
King's Lynn Lightning
1. Lewis Whitmore, 2. Lewis Austen, 3. Stephen Whitehouse, 4. Layne Cupitt
Team manager - Scott Campos
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