Mildenhall Fen Tigers have it all to do in Knock Out Cup after hefty defeat to Leicester Lion Cubs
The Mildenhall Fen Tigers were left to lick their wounds following a chastening 55-34 defeat against the Leicester Lion Cubs in the first leg of the Knock Out Cup on Sunday.
There was an early injury to David Wallinger, who managed to get no further than the first bend in his opening ride before he locked up and left the following Jamie Halder with nowhere left to go.
Both riders were treated for some time on the track before, thankfully, both walked from the crash with the help of the paramedics.
Wallinger suffered damage to his wrist and the Fen Tigers management await news of his injury following a visit to hospital.
This, added to both Fen Tigers reserves experiencing difficult afternoons, left the remaining team members fighting to keep the score close.
They battled hard, led by Danny Ayres and with excellent backing from the improving Charlie Brooks, but could not contain a powerful top three that included ex-Fen Tiger Luke Ruddick, who scored a highly impressive 11 points.
Only Ayres and Brooks were race winners for the Fen Tigers and the lack of race wins contributed to a final score in favour of the home side 55-34.
Disappointed team manager Malcolm Vasey said: “Following an excellent effort at Cradley on Monday this was not what I was expecting today. "Losing David was of course a factor in our defeat and hopefully the news following his hospital visit will be positive, but we fell short especially at reserve and couldn’t hold onto the tails of a decent opponent.
"We send our best wishes to Jamie Halder and hope he will soon be back racing.
"Danny led from the front as always and I was particularly impressed by Charlie who fully earned his ride in heat 15.
"We are not out of this tie, but it will require a big performance now in the second leg and a 21-point defeat will take some pulling back."
Ellie Perks 15 (5 rides), Joe Thompson 11+2 (6), Luke Ruddick 11 (4), Danyon Hume 10 (5), Dan Thompson 7+2 (5), Ryan MacDonald 1 (5), Jamie Halder 0 (WD)
Mildenhall Fen Tigers 34
Danny Ayres 12 (5 rides), Charlie Brooks 10 (6), Jason Edwards 6 (4), Matt Marson 5+2 (5), Macauley Leek 1+1 (6), Elliot Kelly 0 (5), David Wallinger 0 (WD)
* For further reaction, plus a look ahead to the Fen Tigers' two National Trophy meetings over the weekend, see this week's print editions.