Word of warning as Tigers are made to work
Mildenhall Fen Tigers 49
Rye House Raiders 38
by Derek Bish at Mildenhall Stadium
MILDENHALL Fen Tigers team manager Robert Henry has warned his team against complacency after they laboured to victory over the Rye House Raiders.
Only a perfect afternoon for Cameron Heeps and a paid maximum from Joe Jacobs prevented the Suffolk side from slipping to their first home defeat since being reformed at the start of last year.
It was a frustrating meeting for supporters to watch with no less than nine reruns taking place, with Heeps and Jacobs the only Tigers finishing the meeting without taking a tumble at some point.
Henry said: “We shouldn’t be going down the route that we think we’re going to win everything easily and this match proved it.
“We’ve got to kick ourselves up the backside for that because we shouldn’t be complacent.”
A minute’s silence was impeccably observed ahead of the fixture for Lakeside Hammers captain Lee ‘Rico’ Richardson, while the home team’s riders, management and mechanics sported #RICO T-shirts in memory of the Great Britain star, who died in a crash in Poland last month.
Although the action got under way soon after, several spills meant the meeting took a long time to truly spark into life, with the opening five heats taking more than 45 minutes to complete.
Visiting captain David Mason set the tone in race one by sliding out before Cameron Heeps and Joe Jacobs stormed to the first of four one-two finishes in a season’s best time of 51.19 seconds.
Heat two featured one error after another with Nick Lee’s false start preceding Nathan Stoneman’s engine giving up, which saw team-mate Josh Bates crash into the back of his teenage club-mate, before a clash between Joe Graver and Bates saw the latter excluded and Rye House awarded a 5-0 win.
Dan Halsey slid out of heat three before a mistake by Stefan Nielsen allowed the Raiders to stretch their lead to 11-6, and although the return of skipper Lewis Blackbird from injury briefly provided the home side with some cheer, Rye House scored a 5-1 over Nielsen and Halsey in heat five to open up a seven-point advantage.
However, a quite brilliant 5-1 from Heeps and Jacobs – the latter dramatically sneaking up the inside of James Sarjeant on the final bend for second – galvanised Mildenhall and they only suffered two more reverses before the end of the meeting.
Mechanical gremlins prevented Blackbird from winning heat seven before falls for Rye House’s Shane Hazelden and Nick Lee one race later allowed the Tigers to move ahead for the first time since the afternoon’s opener.
One-two finishes for Heeps and Jacobs in heats 10 and 15, plus a race 13 success for the Australian and a win for Nielsen a heat earlier – courtesy of an excellent pass on the Raiders top scorer Ben Morley – guided Mildenhall home to an 11-point victory after their initial scare.
Although Heeps and Jacobs were the undoubted stars of the show, a return of 8+1 points from seven rides for reserve Stoneman also proved to be crucial, particularly in the absence of Bates, who was withdrawn with a recurrence of his shoulder injury.
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Weather for Bury St Edmunds
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 12 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: East
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: South west