The ‘KJM/Manchetts’ Fen Tigers dream of the Grand Slam hit the rails at Eastbourne last night where injuries to Sam Bebee and Jordan Jenkins left the side down to four riders as they failed to hold onto a fourteen point lead from the first leg of the NL KO Cup final.

Friday evening had seen the Fen Tigers race into a twenty point lead after ten heats, but as the track changed later in the meeting and gating became a premium they were reeled in by the fast starting Tom Brennan, Georgie Wood and Mark Baseby as the visitors won four of the final five races to reduce the lead to fourteen. Drew Kemp and Josh Bailey led the way for the Fen Tigers with a combined twenty seven point return.

Saturday’s second leg saw the Fen Tigers following briefly confident of victory as Kemp flew from the gate to win heat one. Quickly this confidence faded as first Sam Bebee crashed out of the meeting at high speed coming off the fourth bend in heat two trying to pass the Eastbourne reserves, and although Matt Marson rode a fine race in the re-run to win heat two the pressure was on the five man Fen Tigers. Things went from bad to worse three races later when Mark Baseby locked up on the second bend and picked up Jordan Jenkins. Although the Mildenhall Captain bravely came out for the re-run he was clearly in considerable pain and two heats later pulled out in his next ride and out of the meeting. Down to four men standing the Fen Tigers bravely battled on led by the excellent Drew Kemp and managed to hold onto their lead until heat twelve. After that though two further 5-1’s and a 4-2 put the icing on the cake for Eastbourne but was no reward for the battling Fen Tigers who will now regroup ahead of the Play-off finals.

1st leg
‘KJM/Manchetts’ Fen Tigers 52
Drew Kemp 15+1 (6 rides), Josh Bailey 12+1 (6), Ryan Kinsley 9 (5), Jordan Jenkins 7+1 (5), Sam Bebee 6+1 (4), Matt Marson 3 (4) and R/R Danny Ayres
Eastbourne Eagles 38
Tom Brennan 11 (5 rides), Georgie Wood 9 (4), Mark Baseby 9 (5), Charlie Brooks 4 (5), Jason Edwards 3 (4), Ethan Spiller 2+2 (4) and Charley Powell 0 (3)

2nd leg
Eastbourne Eagles 58
Tom Brennan 13+1 (5 rides), Georgie Wood 12+1 (5), Ethan Spiller 9+1 (4), Charlie Brooks 7+3 (4), Mark Baseby 7+1 (4), Jason Edwards 6 (4) and Charley Powell 4+2 (4)
‘KJM/Manchetts’ Fen Tigers 32
Drew Kemp 13 (6 rides), Josh Bailey 6 (5), Ryan Kinsley 6 (6), Matt Marson 6 (7), Jordan Jenkins 1 (3 w/d), Sam Bebee 0 (1 w/d) and R/R Danny Ayres