Dan Halsey has called on his Mildenhall Fen Tigers team-mates to treat the visit of the Cradley Heathens in the National League on Sunday like a cup final.
With hopes of a top-four finish, and place in the end of season play-offs all but over for the West Row club, stalwart Halsey wants to see them dent the title aspirations of their arch rivals in the rearranged fixture.
The original clash between the two sides was scheduled for June, but the meeting was called off by Fen Tigers promoter Kevin Jolly over the visitors’ proposed use of a guest to cover.
Following an appeal, the Suffolk were side docked three league points and Jolly handed a £1250 fine, of which £1000 is suspended.
“I think that the rivalry had started to fade away until whatever happened over the original staging of the fixture,” said Halsey.
“Everyone is now fired up again, particularly Kevin (Jolly) who wants us to win and get one over them.
“Cradley will be a bit like a cup final for us as we have got nothing else left to ride for.
“Other than Max Clegg and Nathan Greaves (who is guesting for Ashley Morris) they are not that strong at all and there isn’t anyone else in the team that particularly stands out.
“I don’t want to get beat by either of them (Clegg or Greaves) and I will be going out there to do my job.”
After getting the better of the Stoke Potters 51-39 on Saturday night, a result which saw Halsey rack up an 18-point maximum, the Fen Tigers, for the second year running, failed to reach the final of the National League Fours at Coventry 24 hours later.
The quartet of Halsey, Jon Armstrong, Connor Coles and Jordan Jenkins, who was a late replacement for Alfie Bowtell, finished on 13 points in Group A, one point behind the second placed Heathens, and five behind table toppers, and eventual winners, Rye House Raiders.
“To be honest, I thought we would make the final, but I am happy as we acquitted ourselves well. They all showed some guts and gave me something,” said Jolly.
“Rye House had two big guns in Rob Branford and Ben Morley and things just fell in their favour.
“We just missed out and it would have been nice to make the final, but I am not going to get despondent about it.”
The Fen Tigers will travel to Loomer Road on Saturday to face the Stoke Potters in the league (7pm), before taking on Cradley 24 hours later.
Mildenhall Fen Tigers 51: J Armstrong 6, A Bowtell 8+2, K Hughes R/R, C Coles 11+3, D Halsey 18, S Bebee 7+2, J Lawlor 1.
Stoke Potters 39: B Wilson 7 S Tedham R/R, T Atkin 6, D Phillips 9+2, B Hopwood 9, L Geary 5+1, P Burnett 3+1.
National League Fours
Mildenhall Fen Tigers 13: J Armstrong 4, D Halsey 5, J Jenkins 1, C Coles 3.