Louis praises Fen Tigers quartet

BATTLING HARD:  Brendan Johnson, red, and Marc Owen     Picture: Derek Leader

BATTLING HARD: Brendan Johnson, red, and Marc Owen Picture: Derek Leader

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Chris Louis has commended the efforts of the Mildenhall Fen Tigers’ quartet following their third-place finish in this year’s National League Fours.

The Mildenhall Fen Tigers co-promoter was quick to praise the makeshift team’s attempt at glory in light of the circumstances at Coventry on Sunday, which saw them contest the meeting without the services of Joe Jacobs (illness) and Dan Halsey (family issues).

“I was very pleased with the team that turned up as it was a difficult track out there but they kept their heads and gave it 100 per cent,” said Louis. “However, I am not going to say we would have won it if we had a full team as both Joe (Jacobs) and Dan (Halsey) have had dreadful meetings on bad tracks this year.”

After making an inauspicious start to the meeting, which was delayed for an hour due to concerns surrounding the condition of the track, the Fen Tigers rocketed into life with an impressive win by Josh Bates in heat four of the second semi-final.

A second ride yielding no points from meeting reserve Sean Phillips — riding in place of Halsey — saw the Fen Tigers trail both the Stoke Potters and King’s Lynn Young Stars by three points going into the final three heats.

Showing sheer determination, the Fen Tigers made sure of their progression into the final, in which they would be joined from the first semi-final by the Cradley Heathens, and Coventry Storm, by taking two heats wins courtesy of Bates and Brendan Johnson, a valuable second from Kingston in the concluding heat.

Not one for backing out of a challenge, the Fen Tigers’ quartet gave it their all in the final, but like Coventry Storm and the King’s Lynn Young Stars they were powerless to prevent the Heathens from securing a second successive Fours title.

Bates had the chance to take second for the Fen Tigers in a run-off with the hosts’ James Sarjeant, however it was not to be as Bates hit the deck on the second bend of the opening lap to hand the hosts the runners-up spot.