Tigers can cope with injuries

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MILDENHALL Fen Tigers team manager Rob Henry is confident his side have more than enough firepower to cover for injury victims Lewis Blackbird and Josh Bates in their upcoming clashes against the Isle of Wight and King’s Lynn.

Both riders sustained injuries during the side’s 55-39 victory in the first leg of their National League Knockout Cup semi-final against the Stoke Potters on Monday, with Bates suffering a broken arm, and Blackbird a badly-bruised wrist.

Although Blackbird is only likely to miss the Tigers’ opening National Trophy fixture with the Isle of Wight last night, and Sunday’s National League encounter at West Row against King’s Lynn, it is feared Bates’ broken arm will keep him sidelined for the rest of the campaign.

“We have a good record around the Isle of Wight and hopefully we can keep up this winning momentum and make a good start to the National Trophy,” said Henry. “It is shame not having Josh and Lewis available but we should be able to cope.”

“Although King’s Lynn are at the bottom of the table we are not going to underestimate them.

“They have got riders who ride the track at West Row and will be up for the meeting, but we have enough strength in depth to see them off.”

The Tigers, who are already without number one Cameron Heeps, have been quick to draft in temporary replacements for both meetings.

Guesting in place of Heeps for the Tigers at Smallbrook last night was Rye House Raiders star Ben Morley, with Niall Strudwick taking the place of Bates in the reserve berth.

Aaron Baseby will fill the void left by Heeps on Sunday with Joe Graver likely to be drafted into the number seven race jacket.

The rider replacement order will be used to cover for Blackbird for both meetings.