Tigers show title credentials after beating the favourites

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Mildenhall Fen Tigers 47

Scunthorpe Saints 43

by Graham Clark at

Mildenhall Stadium

LEWIS Blackbird’s storming 13-point haul, combined with an impressive effort by a rejuvenated Daniel Halsey, helped the Mildenhall Fen Tigers maintain their 100 per cent home record by inflicting defeat on a strong Scunthorpe side.

With both Cameron Heeps and Mark Baseby missing through injury, the Tigers knew from the outset they would be up against it with their Lincolnshire visitors boasting four Premier League riders among their ranks.

It took Mildenhall just two heats to put their noses in front, with the drop down to the reserve berth working the trick for Halsey, who led home a 4-2 in heat two.

Things swung back in favour of Scunthorpe just a heat later, with the Worrrall brothers, Steve and Richie, combining for an impressive 5-1 over Blackbird and Joe Jacobs.

The Mildenhall pair bounced back in heat five by grabbing a 5-1 of their own, led home by Blackbird, to put the Tigers back in the driving seat once more.

With a 4-2 and 5-1 heading the visitors’ way in the next two heats, the tables turned once more as Scunthorpe opened up a four-point lead.

That deficit was soon erased as the impressive Blackbird stormed to his second win of the afternoon from the outside gate, with Baseby following him home to bring the Tigers back on terms.

Blackbird was at it again in the next heat, this time heading up the Tigers’ second 4-2 of the afternoon to give them a slender two-point advantage.

By heat 11 the teams were all square, before Jacobs and Aaron Baseby slammed home another 5-1 to put the Tigers in front by four.

A shared heat 13 set up a tense final two heats, but Tigers’ fans need not have worried as Blackbird and Halsey continued their impressive displays, in an accident marred heat 14.

Blasting from the tapes once again, Blackbird roared to an easy win, while in behind trouble loomed.

Just as it looked like the heat was to be shared, Halsey had other ideas on the final lap, undertaking Richie Worrall to take up third entering the final bend.

Third was soon to become second as he swept past Stefan Nielsen, only for the Scunthorpe youngster to fightback.

But after going wide and colliding with the fence it left the door open for Halsey to follow Blackbird home and hand Mildenhall the vital 5-1, while Worrall collected his race partner in a nasty-looking smash.

With the win assured, Mildenhall needed just 3-3 to secure all three points, but after Blackbird fell in the first run of heat 15, captain Jack Hargreaves failed to produce the goods, getting stuck behind the visiting pair to give them a 5-1 and take home a valuable away point.

“We knew it was going to be a tough meeting as they are the favourites to win the league,” said Halsey.

“As it stands we have a pretty strong team and two of us have to be in the reserve spot so I am not too disappointed being there. Hopefully judging by this performance it will give me some confidence back and enable me to score even more points.”

Mildenhall: Ben Morley 3+1, Mark Baseby r/r, Joe Jacobs 6+1, Lewis Blackbird 13, Jack Hargreaves 10+1, Daniel Halsey 7+1, Aaron Baseby 8+3.

Scunthorpe: Robert Brandford 3, Lee Smethills 3, Steve Worrall 8+2, Richie Worrall 9+1, Ashley Birks 12+1, Adam Wrathall 5, Stefan Nielsen 3.