Fen Tigers in command
Mildenhall Fen Tigers captain Jordan Jenkins feels that winning the final of this year’s National Trophy title will eclipse their victory in the competition 12 months ago, writes Graham Clark.
The West Row-based outfit will head into the second leg of this year’s final at Mildenhall Stadium on Sunday (3pm) with one hand already on the title after defeating hosting Cradley Heathens 51-39 in the opening leg on Tuesday.
Although his side holds a commanding 12-point lead, the 17-year-old has warned that they must remain focused if they have aspirations of landing their first piece of silverware in 2018.
“I don’t think anyone expected to win like that at all in the first leg,” said Jenkins.
“We knew we would have to work hard but we would have been happy keeping it tight and going back to our place and finishing the job.
“I don’t think we have come up against a team as strong as this all season. It was pretty good to win what has been the most important meeting of the season like that.
“I know we have got a good lead but we have just got to carry on from this on Sunday.
“It was good winning it last year but I think it would be even more special if we do it this year.
“We’ve been close like this all year and for whatever reason it has just clicked.”
A 4-2 from Max Clegg, who deputised for the injured Danny Ayres, and Matt Marson put the the visitors into an early lead which was increased when Drew Kemp and Marson teamed up to take heat four by the same scoreline.
Former Heathens rider Clegg then paired up with Ryan Kinsley to take a 5-1 in heat five, before the latter fronted another 5-1, having dusted himself down after being collected by Ellis Perks in heat seven to take the re-run.
Although the Heathens bridged the gap down to six with a 4-2 in heat eight and one of two maximums in heat 10, the Fen Tigers soon pulled clear again with Clegg and Jenkins returning the favour a race later to re-establish a 10-point cushion.
The gap was reduced to six once more as with Kyle Bickley and Richard Andrews teaming up to take a 5-1 in heat 12 but the deadly duo of Clegg and Kemp ensured the Fen Tigers would leave in a commanding position after taking a brace of 5-1s in heats 13 and 15.
Attentions for the Fen Tigers will now turn to the second leg of their National League Knock-Out Cup semi-final tomorrow against the Belle Vue Colts, where they will take a 39-point lead to National Speedway Stadium.
“We’ve got a good cushion to go there with which takes a bit of pressure off our shoulders but we don’t want to be too complacent as they are a good team at home,” added Jenkins.