Kevin Jolly believes that the absence of Connor Coles from the Eastbourne Eagles’ line-up can work in favour of the Mildenhall Fen Tigers in their National Trophy clash on Sunday.
Although the Arlington-based outfit have drafted in Birmingham Brummies and Sheffield Tigers star Jack Parkinson-Blackburn to cover for the former Fen Tigers favourite, who is riding in the Championship for Newcastle Diamonds, Jolly feels his presence is bound to be missed by the visitors.
“Eastbourne have decided to bring in Jack Parkinson-Blackburn as a guest for Connor Coles,” said Jolly.
“He is good and is going well but to be honest I think that weakens them in some ways.
“Connor rides Mildenhall well as we know and him coming back here would have been dangerous for us.
Despite last year’s National League Knockout-Cup winners being without their new signing Fen Tigers promoter Jolly, who has drafted in Danny Ayers as a guest number one in place of Connor Mountain who is on duty with the Ipswich Witches, still expects his side to be given a stern test.
“We can never underestimate any team. The Dugards are very clever people and have been round speedway a long while and I am sure they will pull a few rabbits out of the bag,” added Jolly.
“With Mark Baseby you can never be sure what you will get while Georgie Wood goes well round our place and they look to have an ace in their pack with Tom Brennan.
The Fen Tigers will enter in the meeting in high spirits having overturned a 10-point deficit against the Kent Kings to run out 94-84 winners of the Easter Chase on Sunday before making a winning start to the National League with a 46-43 victory away to the Cradley Heathens on Monday.
“The spirit at Cradley was absolutely brilliant. They were all helping each other out which was so good to see,” said Jolly.
“Rob Henry (team manager) has been at Mildenhall through the good times and the bad times and he is so excited at the moment.
“I did doubt them after losing at Kent on Friday. I thought I might have been over zealous talking them up but the last two meetings have shown things are coming together.”
Although guest number one Dan Bewley topped the scoring charts at Monmore Green for the Fen Tigers with a 15-point maximum Jolly praised the efforts of each member of his team.
“Dan was the ace in the pack and did a great job as a guest but Jon (Armstrong) was on fire.
“His attitude in the pits was great. He was pumped and so were the team.
“I have to make a special mention to Luke Ruddick and Sam Woods.
“These lads are key to our middle order and bottom end. It was a joy to see them out there getting in on the act.”