Semi-final success keeps double hopes on track

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NATIONAL LEAGUE

KNOCKOUT CUP

SEMI-FINAL

SECOND LEG

Isle of Wight 44 Mildenhall Fen Tigers 46

(Tigers won 103-81 on aggregate)

MILDENHALL Fen Tigers remained on course for a National League and Knockout Cup double after winning their cup semi-final against the Isle of Wight, to book their place against Stoke Potters in the final.

Defending a 20-point lead from the first leg at West Row, the Tigers overcame the loss of skipper Jack Hargreaves to illness before the meeting.

But, with guest Robert Branford turning in a brilliant display in place of the injured Cameron Heeps, the Tigers not only clinched the tie, but overcame the odds to win on the night as well.

The early stages of the match remained tight, with the Isle of Wight gaining the early advantage.

However, as they have done so often this season, Mildenhall dug deep, overcoming engine problems for Daniel Halsey, which was followed by Lewis Blackbird and Mark Baseby winning their opening rides before falling in heats five and six respectively as the Isle of Wight led by 20-16 after the opening six heats.

But, a 5-1 from Branford and Aaron Baseby in heat eight finally put paid to any hopes the Islanders had of overcoming their first leg deficit, with another maximum from Mark Baseby and Branford in heat 11 allowing them to cruise through the rest of the meeting to earn a two-point victory.

n Dates for the Knockout Cup final have already been agreed, with the first leg to be held at West Row on Sunday, September 25, and the second leg at Stoke, on Saturday, October 15.