Praise for Mildenhall Fen Tigers' reserve pairing Macauley Leek and Elliot Kelly
Mildenhall Fen Tigers promoter Kevin Jolly believes that the performances of reserve pairing Macauley Leek and Elliot Kelly could prove pivotal to their chances against the Leicester Lion Cubs in the National League Knock Out Cup on Sunday (4pm), writes Graham Clark.
The West Row-based outfit will set out on the road to reach the final of the competition for the third season running in the first leg of the quarter-final tie at the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena before entertaining the Lion Cubs at Mildenhall Stadium on May 26.
Although Jolly believes victory can be achieved at the weekend, he still feels that a defeat would not necessarily mean that the tie is over, provided the scores are kept close ahead of the return meeting.
“They have got a good top three as you know with Luke Ruddick, Danyon Hume and Ellis Perks they are going to be good but hopefully our top three can step up and mix it up with their ones,” said Jolly.
“I think our middle order and bottom end is stronger and that gives us the potential to do a job on them. Elliot Kelly is doing well and Macauley Leek is riding out of his skin and I think trying to find a pair of reserves to match up with what they are doing is hard to match up.
“The team is good enough to win there but we don’t necessarily have to win. If we can keep within six points then it would really put us in the driving seat.”
Having sent the Plymouth Gladiators packing in the National Trophy with a 61-29 victory on Sunday, the Fen Tigers were denied a season-opening victory in the National League on Monday when going down 46-44 following a last-heat decider against the Cradley Heathens.
Despite their recent setback at Monmore Green, Jolly feels he has seen enough with his own eyes to believe that this year’s Fen Tigers team means business.
“I think there is a lot more to come from this team. Danny Ayres is really leading by example as captain and Jason Edwards is somebody who is already looking like being very solid,” added Jolly.
“I really see a lot more to come from Charlie Brooks and he could be a massive rider for us this season.
“Elliot Kelly has made a good start while Macauley Leek has been a revelation and if he maintains 75 per cent of that level for the rest of the season he will be good.
“David Wallinger has not quite clicked into top gear yet but it is early days and we will work with him. We want him to be an eight-point rider which we know he can be.”
While Jolly has taken a back seat at the club despite still holding the promoter’s license, he is happy with his new position.
“It is very nice to be involved with the others and taking that back seat has taken a lot of pressure of me,” said Jolly.
“My big buzz is working with the young riders like Elliot and I get great enjoyment of seeing them come through and helping their development.”