Tigers fail to halt the away-day woes as season ends in defeat

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NATIONAL LEAGUE

Coventry Storm 55

Mildenhall Fen Tigers 36

Mildenhall Fen Tigers’ away-day hoodoo continued on Sunday as they finished the season without a single victory on the road.

An eventful heat one opened proceedings. Storm led out of turn two before Tom Bacon fell at the end of the first lap. This left the respective number ones, Carr and Danny Ayres, battling it out for the lead. Carr then fell on the same spot a lap later to give Mildenhall an early lead.

Storm led in heat two but Jamie Holder was relegated to third by Ben Basford.

Jack Kingston suffered machine problems before the start of heat three and was replaced by Luke Ruddick. Mark Baseby took the lead coming out of turn two followed by Darryl Ritchings at the end of lap one.

Connor Dwyer led heat four with Martin Knuckey going from fourth to first on the back straight of lap one. This maximum put Storm 16-7 ahead.

Ayres was leading heat five before Tom Bacon took a nasty fall under the air-fence on the Rugby turn. The Storm pair took the lead in the rerun but a good piece of riding by Ayres saw him pass both riders coming out of turn two on the second lap.

Carr won heat six with Shuttleworth passing Connor Coles on the back straight for second place, while Knuckey won a shared heat seven before Mildenhall hit more problems in heat eight. Bacon was in the thick of it challenging for second before going wide and almost clipping the fence coming out of the Rugby turn.

In trying to correct himself he almost collected partner Ruddick on the back straight. Both riders stayed on to finish but Bacon collapsed after finishing and was taken off with an ankle injury, which put him out of his last ride. This left the halfway score at 32-15 to Storm.

Coles took a tactical ride in heat nine which was stopped after Baseby fell and Coles had to bale out to avoid him. Ritchings was a comfortable winner of the re-run. Cole’s four points did give them a 5-3 heat advantage.

Storm took a heat 10 maximum before Ayres rode another good race to shake off the persistent Knuckey in heat 11 and with Ruddick in third take a 4-2.

Mildenhall again led in heat 12 but despite Baseby getting by Basford held out for another 4-2.

Heat 13 saw the second meeting of the two number ones. It was Knuckey, however, who led the race with Ayres falling on the second lap while under no real pressure.

Mildenhall again led from the start in the penultimate race before a tight back straight saw Ruddick lose second place. He then ended his night by falling on the Rugby turn. Carr won a shared heat 13 to make the final score 55-36 to Storm.

The final result meant the Tigers finished a mixed campaign in seventh place with 20 points, just four more than bottom-placed Kent Kings and 26 adrift of overall winners Birmingham Brummies.

Storm scorers; Carr 11(1), Knuckey 11, Ritchings 9(1), Shuttleworth 8(3), Dwyer 8(1), Baseby 6(1), Halder 2(1)

Mildenhall scorers; Ayres 11, Mountain 8(1), Coles 7, Kingston, Basford 4(1), Ruddick 2, Bacon 0.