Halsey places maximum faith in Tigers securing away win

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Dan Halsey expects the Mildenhall Fen Tigers to dish out another beating to the Buxton Hitmen in the National Trophy on Sunday.

Fen Tigers skipper Halsey has placed maximum faith in his teammates to follow up their 57-38 win over the Hitmen in a National Trophy encounter at West Row on Sunday when the sides meet at Dale Head Lane.

Although positive of recording back-to-back wins over the Derbyshire outfit, Halsey has warned it could be a much tighter affair this time around.

“I think we can definitely go to Buxton and win, but I don’t think we will hammer them like we did on Sunday as the track is not a favourite among riders,” said Halsey.

“It is quite a rough track at Buxton and gating is important as there is only really one line you can take around there.”

Last Sunday’s meeting saw Halsey lead by example by taking 14 points from five rides after tasting defeat on just the one occasion.

“I was gutted that I dropped that one point,” said Halsey.

“The track had just been watered before the heat and Charles Wright was put on a tactical. I just ran out of it at the first corner and although I did end up closing him down, I just couldn’t pass him.”

While Halsey’s score was impressive, the plaudits belonged to teenage heat leader Josh Bates, who claimed his first ever paid maximum after returning with a 14+1 points haul.

“Josh had a really good day and it was probably the fastest and smoothest that I have seen him ride,” said Halsey.

“Although he did fall in one ride, all four were put back in the race.

“He really did look like a different man on the bike.”

The former Rye House Rockets rider was also delighted to see both reserve riders accumulate respectable point hauls, especially the returning Nathan Stoneman, who was brought back into the team, having been dropped for the Fen Tigers’ previous three meetings, for Ryan Terry-Daley.

“Nathan Stoneman looked like his old self on Sunday,” said Halsey.

“I’d say that the break from the team just gave him a kick up the backside and it worked as he looked more focused.”

Early signs in Sunday’s meeting suggested it could have been a long afternoon for the Fen Tigers with Wright winning heat one, before Liam Rumsey and Jon Armstrong suffered bike problems in heats two and three respectively.

However, normal service was soon resumed with the Fen Tigers opening up a 16-point lead by the end of heat nine, with it stretching to 18 points just a heat later.

Wright was sent out in the double-scoring black-and-white helmet in heat 11 and although he secured the win it did little to erode Mildenhall’s lead.

Heading into the finale, Mildenhall found themselves 15 points to the good, with Halsey and Bates handed the job of further extending the lead in the concluding race.

Neither rider failed to disappoint as Halsey took the chequered flag in first with Bates chasing him home in second to give the Fen Tigers the perfect end to the afternoon.

Mildenhall: Nielsen 7+1; Baseby 7; Bates 14+1; Armstrong 4; Halsey 14; Rumsey 6+2; Stoneman 6.

Buxton: Wright 12; Govier 1; McKinna 9; Atkin 4+1; Woolley 3+1; Williamson 9+1.