Another fine home performance by the ‘KJM/Manchetts’ Fen Tigers has left their KO Cup Semi Final with Belle Vue totally in the balance.

A sixteen point advantage gives the Fen Tigers something to defend in Manchester when they will need their never say die spirit to see them into their second final of the season.

The meeting started well with a fine win for Jordan Jenkins and when Drew Kemp and Alex Spooner combined for a 5-1 in heat two the Fen Tigers had an early six point lead. This was immediately pegged back after a harsh looking exclusion for Jenkins in heat three as he went powerfully under Kyle Bickley in the first and second bend. The resulting re-run saw a 5-1 for the visitors that pulled the lead back to two. The Fen Tigers were soon back in the ascendancy as the exciting Kemp gated Connor Coles in heat four before being joined by last Sunday's hero Jon Armstrong who swept past Coles to join his teenage partner. Jenkins quickly atoned for his heat three exclusion as he skilfully outfoxed Bickley with a smart pass to take the heat win.

The Fen Tigers stretched their advantage to ten points with another 5-1 in heat six as Kemp passed Coles to join the fast starting Connor Mountain before Armstrong powered to victory in heat seven to maintain the lead. Heat eight saw more controversy as a brilliant first bend by Mountain left Bickley high and dry on the first bends and with Kemp racing through the inside another 5-1 looked to have been secured. The cheers were soon bought to an abrupt halt as Kemp was excluded for not having a solid disc fitted on the right-hand side of his rear wheel. This didn’t hold the Fen Tigers back for long though as the Mountain / Armstrong partnership both swept past Coles in heat ten for another 5-1 and went into the interval fourteen points ahead.

Following the interval another Armstrong masterclass was followed by a 4-2 from Mountain and Kemp and with three heats left the Fen Tigers were in a strong position sixteen points ahead. That was soon twenty as in heat three Mountain again made an electric start to be joined by Armstrong who battled past Mitchell Davey to join his partner. A superb past by Kemp in heat fourteen over Rob Shuttleworth secured an important drawn heat in fourteen, before the drama unfolded again in heat fifteen. Fast starts from Shuttleworth and Davey for the visitors left Mountain and Armstrong chasing their opponents and although they tried everything they couldn’t pass the Belle Vue pair and the Fen Tigers had to settle for a sixteen point lead to take to Belle Vue on Friday.

Kevin Jolly was left rueing that last heat but was pleased with his team, he said “It was disappointing to lose that last heat, but I have to praise the lads again today for another performance of real character and a sixteen point lead gives us something to really work with on Friday. Connor, Jon and Jordan keep producing the goods and in young Drew we have a real diamond who can be our wildcard at Belle Vue. I know we took a heavy defeat there in the league meeting but that was back in the very early part of the season and we go there this time knowing a lot more what is required to be successful at their track. Armo has ridden there a few times and his knowledge and experience will be invaluable to us”

Mildenhall ‘KJM/Manchetts’ Fen Tigers 53

Connor Mountain 14 (6 rides), Jon Armstrong 12+3 (6), Drew Kemp 12+1 (7), Jordan Jenkins 12 (5), Alex Spooner 2+1 (3) and Ryan Terry Daley 1 (3). R/R for Danny Halsey.

Belle Vue ‘Colts’ 37

Rob Shuttleworth 11+1 (6 rides), Mitchell Davey 9+3 (6), Kyle Bickley 7+2 (5), Luke Woodhull 5+2 (7), Connor Coles 5 (5) and Lewis Whitmore 0 (1). R/R for Lee Payne.