It was business as usual for the ‘KJM/Manchetts’ Fen Tigers as they drew on their strong team spirit and determination to pull another victory from the jaws of defeat at the National Speedway Stadium. The Fen Tigers arrived in Manchester in a potentially strong position holding a sixteen point  lead, but that was gone in only five heats as they were blitzed by the fast starting Colts who bolted from the gate race after the race to leave the Fen Tigers hanging onto the tie by a thread!

It took a fine ride from Captain Jon Armstrong in heat six for the Fen Tigers to gain a foothold in the meeting and with heats seven and eight also drawn the Fen Tigers were becoming more competitive but still struggling for heat winners. A 4-2 in heat nine followed by a 5-1 in heat ten for the home side looked to have countered any thoughts of a comeback for the Fen Tigers as they fell six points behind in the tie. Step forward No 1 Connor Mountain with a brilliant ride to see off the attentions of Ben Hopwood and with fifteen year old Drew Kemp battling for third after two early retirements the Fen Tigers finally had a heat advantage. The next heat saw the tie level as talented youngsters Jordan Jenkins and Drew Kemp combined for a sensational ride to claim a 5-1 together team riding with maturity far in advance of their years. Mountain again was quick from the traps to win heat thirteen in a race that will long live in the memory as Davey, Hopwood and Armstrong interchanged positions before the race ended in a drawn heat.

Two heats left and all square quickly became one race and the Fen Tigers two points to the good as Kemp produced another high class ride to pass Shuttleworth off bend two with Luke Ruddick claiming an all important third place. A drawn heat fifteen was required to see the Fen Tigers into the final and Captain Fantastic Armstrong made no mistake going round the outside of everyone off bend two before disappearing into the distance leaving Mountain to battle with Hall, a 4-2 the result and the Fen Tigers had reached their second final of 2017!

Kevin Jolly spoke after the meeting, he said “What can you say about these boys, down and out after five races but the spirit is so good here they dug in and pulled themselves into the meeting, every rider contributed and when Armo has that look in his eyes like he did before heat fifteen I knew we were ok.

After our injury problems this year to have reached two finals is some performance and now we head off to Eastbourne this weekend knowing we need another big performance to set up the 2nd leg”

Belle Vue Colts 51
Richard Hall 15+1, Ben Hopwood 12+1, Mitchell Davey 10+3, Rob Shuttleworth 9+1, Paul Bowen 3, Luke Woodhull 2, Lee Payne r/r

Mildenhall 'KJM/Manchetts' Fen Tigers 39

Connor Mountain 11, Jon Armstrong 10, Drew Kemp 8+1, Jordan Jenkins 6+1, Luke Ruddick 2+1, Alex Spooner 2, Dan Halsey r/r