Connor Mountain has warned the Mildenhall Fen Tigers must score big points from the word go against the Kent Kings on Monday if they are to reach the final of the National Trophy, writes Graham Clark.
A draw or better will see the West Row outfit finish top of Group One whatever the outcome of the Kings’ match away to Eastbourne and set up a two-leg final against the Plymouth Devils.
After losing 49-39 in the opening leg of the Easter Chase against the Kings in April, the Fen Tigers fared better when visiting Central Park in the National League last month when going down 49-41.
“We’ve got a decent chance of getting the points we need now we are back to full strength. Luke Bowen and Nathan Stoneman are both out for them and they are probably their two biggest hitters and we must make the most of that,” said Mountain.
“We went there in the Easter Chase and were pretty rubbish, then last time in the league we went better. Hopefully we can go even better this time and get the win.
“Everyone knows what the track is like, or should be like, unless they really change it. We have just got to hit them hard from the first race.”
The Fen Tigers will enter the meeting in positive spirits after establishing a 24-point advantage over the Stoke Potters in the opening leg of their National League Knock Out Cup quarter-final replay at Mildenhall Stadium on Tuesday, winning 57-33.
“It was a good win against Stoke,” said Mountain, who top scored with 14 points.
“The first half of the meeting they pushed us quite hard then we all stepped up in the second half. We all got it together and pulled away as we needed to get as big a cushion to take up there.
“It should be enough to see us through but we can’t really say the job is done until we are finished up there.”
Mountain’s latest double-figure haul arrives just days after suffering a period of uncertainty regarding his future with the Ipswich Witches in the Championship.
The 19-year-old looked to be heading out of Foxhall Stadium together with Justin Sedgman until a deadline day deal was blocked by the BSPA.
“From what I gathered Ipswich wanted to make changes and me and Justin were set to go to make way for them, but the BSPA blocked the move for whatever reason,” said Mountain.
“It is a tough sport and a little bit of a numbers game, but that first phone call was not what I wanted at all and I was not really expecting it to be honest as I had not done too much wrong.
“They asked me and Justin to come back, but I never wanted to leave in the first place. I’m just happy I’ve a Championship club as I need to keep racing in that league to progress my career.”
Mildenhall Fen Tigers 57: Connor Mountain 14, Jordan Jenkins 7+2, Jon Armstrong 9, Luke Ruddick 8+2, Dan Halsey 11+3, Danno Verge 8+2, Sam Woods 0.
Stoke Potters 33: Mitchell Davey 11, Paul Burnett 3, Tony Atkin 3+2, Luke Priest 6, Lee Dicken 2, Ryan Terry-Daley 6, Shaun Tedham 2.