Fen Tigers manage to avoid the wooden spoon with home win
Mildenhall Fen Tigers 46
Rye House Raiders 44
Mildenhall Fen Tigers gained the points required to ensure they will not finish bottom of the National League after beating Rye House Raiders 46-44.
Sunday’s result, coming with one home meeting to go on September 27, followed on from a disappointing double-header at Eastbourne Eagles on Saturday with Mildenhall suffering a 66-24 league defdeat and 66-26 National Trophy reverse.
Rye House needed only one point on Sunday to secure their place in the top four and qualification for the Gold Trophy.
Although Tom Bacon sizzled out of the start, captain Danny Halsey struggled out of gate four and quickly found himself at the back of the field.
The Fen Tigers skipper was not to be deterred as he quickly chased down both Alfie Bowtell and Sam Chapman, before executing smooth passes on both to join Bacon for an opening 5-1.
In heat two, Jez Pestell and Luke Ruddick gated for Mildenhall, but unfortunately a fall from the former when in front resulted in a tied heat.
Excellent team riding from the visiting Luke Priest and Luke Chessell looked sure to bring the scores level in heat three, however the battling Connor Coles was rewarded as he passed Chessell in the run to the line.
A smart manoeuvre from Kyle Hughes in heat four saw him catch up and pass Bacon and the resultant tied heat saw the scores remain close with the Fen Tigers 13-11 in front.
Heat five saw another fine race as Connor Mountain raced into the lead with Coles who passing both Chapman and Bowtell.
A great race between Halsey and Hughes ensued in heat six, before Halsey asserted himself for the victory.
The meeting turned in heat seven as some good team riding from Priest and Chessell held up Mountain’s charge, and the first 5-1 of the afternoon for the visitors.
Further problems for the home side followed in heat eight when Ruddick stopped abruptly with a potential blown engine, with a superb race between Coles and Bowtell seeing the latter gain the upper hand to bring the scores level at 33-33.
Hughes came out on top of Halsey in heat 12 to give the Raiders the lead for the first time, before Coles and Pestell securing a 5-1 win in the next heat to regain their lead.
The final heat lived up to what had gone before with Halsey gaining the upper hand in a tie to give the hosts victory.