Mildenhall are made to suffer on Isle of fright

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NATIONAL LEAGUE

Isle of Wight

Islanders 60

Mildenhall

Fen Tigers 33

Mildenhall Fen Tigers suffered their heaviest defeat of the season as they were crushed by the Isle of Wight Islanders on Tuesday night.

Across the Solent at Smallbrook Stadium, only Stefan Nielsen produced anything near his best.

The Islanders won the first four heats 5-1 to open an near-unassailable 20-4 advantage and went on to secure 12 of the 15 races.

A fall and a stall from Nielsen in the opening two-on-two battle set the tone for the evening as he could only race through to third from his 15m penalty.

Aaron Baseby and Connor Mountain, Josh Bates and Jon Armstrong, and Dan Halsey and Baseby all failed to make any inroads into the hosts, meaning Nielsen was handed the double-scoring black-and-white helmet for heat five.

The Brandon-based Dane finally gave the travelling supporters something to cheer as he took victory from Ben Hopwood, with Nathan Stoneman in third to give the Tigers a 7-2 race advantage and reduce the overall deficit to 11 points.

Any hopes of a dramatic fightback were quickly washed away as back-to-back 5-1s in the next two heats stretched the Islanders’ advantage to 32-13.

Bates was given the double-scoring colours for the second of those, but his third place proved that move irrelevant as he scored just a single point.

The next two heats were shared — but with the home team heading up each of them — before another one-two finish allowed the gap to reach 23 points.

Bates gained some joy in a share of heat 12, but the result was all wrapped up for the Isle of Wight as Hopwood came home second.

Baseby won heat 14, but the Isle of Wight hit the magic 60-point mark with a 3-3 in the last on a forgettable night for Mildenhall.

The Fen Tigers remained second in the National League table and need a top-four finish to make the play-offs.