Depleted Fen Tigers win opener
Despite being without injured captain Jordan Jenkins and Sam Bebee, as well as the unavailable Danny Ayres, Mildenhall Fen Tigers got their National League campaign off to a winning start by overcoming Buxton Hitmen 55-35 at the Mildenhall Stadium on Sunday.
After a drawn opening heat - won by the impressive visitor Ben Wilson - the Fen Tigers gradually clicked into gear as the meeting progressed.
Operating a rider replacement for Bebee allowed team manager Phil Kirk to give additional rides to Matt Marson and Ryan Kinsley.
Both responded positively with Marson returning his best score (7 paid 10), while Kinsley reeled off three fine wins in the second half of the meeting with some fine moves around the outside as he recorded a season best of paid 14 points.
With Josh Bailey and Drew Kemp both producing some sparkling rides and Anders Rowe and Sam Woods scoring in every ride the result was never in doubt and the Fen Tigers ran out 55-35 winners to claim their first National League points.
Kevin Jolly, who was pleased with the team’s performance after a tough outing at Birmingham during the week, said: “I was very impressed with how the lads performed today.
"We spoke to them before the meeting about Wednesday and how we needed to try to put that behind us now and move forward again.
"They responded well and although it was disappointing to have to go without Sam today using R/R for him allowed some important extra track time for both Ryan and Matt and I am pleased to say both responded how we hoped.
"Matt scored well today and looked much more confident and this will have helped him without doubt.
Ryan showed us what we had seen at Press and Practise and knew he had in his locker, his win in heat 10 seemed to lift him and his wins in heat 14 and 15 were superb.
"With the whole team now firing we move onto a big meeting against Eastbou next Sunday full of confidence”
Fen Tigers 55
Drew Kemp 13+2 (7 rides), Ryan Kinsley 13+1 (6), Josh Bailey 11+2 (5), Anders Rowe 8+1 (4), Matt Marson 7+3 (5), Sam Woods 3+3 (3) and R/R Sam Bebee
Ben Wilson 15 (6 rides), David Wallinger 10 (6), Kieran Douglas 4+1 (5), Lewis Whitmore 3 (5), Tom Woolley 3 (5), Sam Woolley 0 (3) and R/R Connor Coles