Ayres: 'Fen Tigers will cope without Drew'
Danny Ayres is confident the Mildenhall Fen Tigers have enough firepower to cope with the absence of Drew Kemp in their next two National League fixtures, against the Isle Of Wight Islanders and Plymouth Devils, writes Graham Clark.
Rising star Kemp will miss the Fen Tigers’ clash against the Islanders at Smallbrook tonight and their trip to face the Devils at the St Boniface Arena tomorrow as he makes his first two Championship starts for the Ipswich Witches.
With the Fen Tigers management opting to use the rider replacement facility in place of a guest at number one, it is a decision that Ayres expects his team-mates to repay by bringing home eight league points.
“I don’t think not having Drew there will be an issue at all,” he said.
“I’m very excited about the next couple of meetings as it will really show what the boys can put together. We are not worried about it one bit. If anything we are thriving off the challenge.
“As long as we hit the ground running on Thursday it will catapult us into the meeting with Plymouth on Friday and we can travel down as a team in good spirits.
“We’ve beaten both teams away in the National Trophy this season and both teams have improved but so have we. I expect us to get eight points.”
Since failing to turn up to the Fen Tigers’ home victory over the Buxton Hitmen in May, the former Kent Kings star, who will become a dad for the second time in November, feels he is in a much better place now, thanks to the help of friends and family.
“I’ve really been putting in the hard work and I’ve put my head down and moved forward. I’m lucky to have the team I have around me and the support and full backing of from everyone at Mildenhall,” added Ayres.
“Peter and Barbara who are two of my sponsors that I stay with in Kent while I’m racing have been like a family to me, and Jodie my partner has been so supportive allowing me to go away and do this.”
The Fen Tigers will switch their attentions to the first leg of their National League Knock Out Cup semi-final on Sunday when entertaining the Belle Vue Colts (3pm).
Having turned over the Manchester based side at Mildenhall Stadium 50-28 earlier this month Ayres, who turns 32 today, expects it to be one-way traffic once again.
“It might be a bit tougher than the other week and they might be more fired up for it but we have just got do what we keep doing,” said Ayres.
“Don’t give me maths and scores for us to get as I’m no good at that, but I want us to annihilate them and really put the tie to bed at home.”
Ryan Kinsley was one of three Fen Tigers to hit double figures last Sunday as the club made it 11 straight wins in the league when brushing aside the Stoke Potters 60-29.
Four 5-1s, including two from Kemp and Kinsley, from the opening six heats saw the hosts quickly surge into a 21 point lead.
After sharing the spoils in heat seven with Ayres defeating the Potters pair of Rob Shuttleworth and David Wallinger, it was soon business as usual with Kinsley leading a 4-2 in the next heat followed by a second 5-1 for Jordan Jenkins and Josh Bailey in heat nine.
Although the visitors claimed two 4-2s, both fronted by Max Clegg, in heats 13 and 15 it was to little avail with the Fen Tigers already home and hosed.
l Ayres and Kemp finished second and fifth respectively behind former Fen Tigers rider Tom Bacon in the F.A.S.T Golden Hammer at Monmore Green on Monday.