Kevin Jolly reveals pride in Mildenhall Fen Tigers despite play-off final defeat
It was a case of one meeting to many as the ‘KJM/Manchetts’ Fen Tigers failed to claw back the 19 points deficit from the first leg of their TravelPlus National League Play-Off Final at Eastbourne on Sunday, though still won the return leg 46-44.
The Fen Tigers, missing both Danny Ayres and Jordan Jenkins, needed a fast start to chip into their opponents' lead but could never claim the heat advantages to achieve that aim.
In fact, at one point it looked like Mildenhall's proud unbeaten home record could be lost as well as the Eagles took heat advantages in heats 10, 11 and 12.
The Fen Tigers dug deep though and put disappointment to one side to claim two 5-1s in the two final heats to take the meeting 46-44 and at least preserve their unbeaten home run to the end of the season, though they do have one more fixture to fufil, ironically at Eastbourne Eagles tonight.
After the meeting promoter Kevin Jolly said: “It is disappointing that we haven’t quite achieved what we set out to achieve at the start of the year but I am very proud of our season.
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"All the lads have given everything and should take a great deal from what they have done this year.
"They have been a pleasure to work with and I am sure they all have learned a lot.
"We have been up against it with injuries at different times this year and they have always dug deep and found that little bit extra but tonight proved a step too far.
"Congratulations to Eastbourne on their victory; they deserved it over the two legs.”
‘KJM/Manchetts’ Fen Tigers 46
Drew Kemp 13 (5 rides), Josh Bailey 10+2 (5), Ryan Kinsley 10 (5), Nathan Stoneman 6 (4), Matt Marson 5+1 (5), Sam Bebee 2+1 (6) and R/R (Danny Ayres)
Eastbourne ‘Eagles’ 44
Georgie Wood 11+1 (5 rides), Mark Baseby 10 (4), Charlie Brooks 7+1 (4), Tom Brennan 7 (5), Jason Edwards 5+1 (4), Ethan Spiller 3+1 (4) and Charley Powell 1+1 (4)