‘Jolly knows he has made a mistake’
Mildenhall Fen Tigers’ Dan Halsey insists victory over table toppers Birmingham Brummies on Wednesday can act as the perfect remedy to the controversial postponement of their clash with the Cradley Heathens.
In a heat of the moment decision, Fen Tigers promoter Kevin Jolly (pictured) called off the West Row outfit’s fixture with the Heathens on Sunday over the eligibility of the visitors’ intention to draft in Belle Vue Colts star Matt Williamson as a guest in place of Luke Chessell.
Former Rye House Raiders rider Chessell had claimed that he was unable to take his place at the meeting due to engine problems, despite having scored a paid three total for Edinburgh Monarchs in the Premier League 24 hours earlier during their 52-41 win over the Plymouth Devils.
The Speedway Control Bureau (SCB) will now discuss what disciplinary action the club face at a meeting on Tuesday, 24 hours before the Fen Tigers are due on the track at Birmingham.
Although the cancellation left a sour taste in the mouth of many fans, it was a decision that Halsey has stressed has had no knock-on effects on the team with their attention now fully focused on lowering the colours of the reigning National League champions.
“It was a bit unprofessional but I know what Kevin (Jolly) is like. He wears his heart on his sleeve for the club. I know where he is coming from but he knows that he has made a mistake,” said Halsey.
“Everyone was gutted they couldn’t ride but it has not really had an effect on us, only the fact that we have missed a home meeting.
“It is just the lack of track time which is not ideal as our next home meeting isn’t until the middle of July.
“Birmingham are the hardest team in the league by a long shot but we will go there and give it a good shot.
“If we can get a good start there, who knows what will happen.
“It would be nice to get some points up there as they are the best team in the league at the moment and it would definitely be one of the results of the season and give us a big lift.”
Following his outburst over the weekend, Jolly is to take a brief rest from the sport until the visit of the Isle Of Wight Warriors in the National League on July 17.
Club advisor James Easter will take over in Jolly’s absence for the away meetings against the Brummies and the Heathens on July 11.
“The weekend’s sad incidents have added nothing to the goodwill of Mildenhall, their fans, riders and sponsors,” said Easter.
“In reflection, the whole matter should have been handled differently, with the overall good of the sport very much at the core of our decisions.
“However, we have to accept that Cradley applied the rules in a correct manner, and whatever our personal opinions were, we should have applied correct business principles.
“We were under the opinion that Cradley were asked to reconsider our decision to call off the meeting, this has proven not to be the case.
“Speedway and the overall wellbeing of the League is paramount, and Mildenhall will now work hard to restore the public’s faith in our team and the sport.”