Cradley Heathens 26
Mildenhall Fen Tigers 16
by Graham Clark
at Monmore Green
The Mildenhall Fen Tigers and Cradley Heathens will have to do it all over again after a prolonged downpour brought an early end to the opening leg of their National League semi-final clash on Tuesday.
Already missing Connor Coles, Connor Mountain, Josh Bates and Brendan Johnson through injury, the Fen Tigers were dealt a further blow when league rules prevented them from using two guests — forcing Lee Payne out of the meeting.
Two maximums from the opening two heats saw the Heathens quickly assert themselves and race into an early eight-point lead.
Due to the circumstances, the Fen Tigers fielded just one rider in heat three with guest Luke Chessell going it alone for the Suffolk outfit.
Although proving no match for race winner Max Clegg, Chessell claimed second after passing Tom Perry early on.
The spoils were shared in the next two heats, although the Fen Tigers could count themselves unlucky in heat five with Chessell coming to a halt when sitting in third behind race partner, and winner, Joe Jacobs.
Track conditions started to take their toll with just two riders completing heat six as Steve Worrall coasted home ahead of Jack Kingston.
With the Fen Tigers trailing by 10 points, stand-in manager Chris Louis opted to send out Chessell in the double-scoring black-and-white helmet in heat seven.
While not winning, Chessell split the Heathens’ pair of Paul Starke, and Matt Williamson to pick up four points.
With the rain showing no signs of relenting, action was swiftly brought to a halt following the conclusion of heat seven.
The sides will do battle again at Monmore Green on Tuesday (7.30pm).