Trophy dreams over for Tigers despite victory

ONE-TWO: Josh Bates, red helmet, and Jon Armstrong, blue, secured a vital 5-1 success in heat three as the Mildenhall Fen Tigers won 47-43 at the Buxton Hitmen on Sunday
ONE-TWO: Josh Bates, red helmet, and Jon Armstrong, blue, secured a vital 5-1 success in heat three as the Mildenhall Fen Tigers won 47-43 at the Buxton Hitmen on Sunday
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NATIONAL TROPHY

Buxton Hitmen 43

Mildenhall Fen Tigers 47

Mildenhall Fen Tigers’ hopes of retaining the National Trophy were ended ahead of their final fixture in the competition at home to Kent on Sunday.

The Kings visit West Row for a 4.30pm start, but Mildenhall cannot earn enough points to knock Isle of Wight off the top, even though the Islanders can be deposed by Stoke Potters.

It could have been different had the Tigers managed to earn an extra bonus point by turning one of the 10 drawn heats their way at the Buxton Hitmen on Sunday, but they still earned an impressive 47-43 success on the road.

Club chairman Kevin Jolly said: “Although we probably made heavy work of it, all the lads contributed and I have to be satisfied with the victory.

“Stefan Nielsen was very impressive, as was Dan Halsey and Josh Bates, who both continued from where they left off last week.

“There is certainly room for improvement and we will be working on that with the team over the next few weeks.”

The Tigers were never behind in their closely-fought contest with Buxton on the Derbyshire Dales as two shared heats were followed up by Josh Bates and Jon Armstrong combining for a 5-1 over Adam McKinna and Tom Woolley in heat three.

Sharp starts from Halsey and Nielsen followed in heats four and five as the visitors extended their lead to six points, but an unlucky exclusion for Liam Rumsey in heat six saw the Hitmen start to edge back into the contest and, by heat 10, there were only two points separating the sides.

Another swift start from Nielsen left Buxton guest Branford trailing in heat 11 and a third place from Aaron Baseby saw the Fen Tigers stretch their lead to four points, which they never relinquished with four more drawn races.

Mildenhall: Nielsen 13, Baseby 3+1, Bates 10, Armstrong 4+3, Halsey 9+1, Rumsey 5, Stoneman 3+1.

n Mildenhall will be holding a training day on Saturday, June 22 (10.30am-3.30pm).

Places remain available — call 07767 460907 to book.