Mildenhall Fen Tigers showed a lack of heart in their failed attempt to win the National League Fours, according to promoter Kevin Jolly.
Jolly launched the stinging attack on the quartet representing the club at Coventry at the weekend after they finished a lacklustre last in the second semi-final, nine points adrift of qualifiers Kent Kings and Rye House Raiders.
“I was very disappointed with today as I was confident that we could do something up there,” said Jolly.
“Some things didn’t go our way but the boys just don’t seem to have the heart. Everything was negative, there was no good to come out of any of it and the boys know that.
“At the moment we are not good enough and they should be doing a lot better. I feel sorry for the fans that travelled up as they deserved better than that.”
The Fen Tigers started the meeting on a low note as Halsey, having made the gate, was passed by Raiders rider Kyle Hughes on the second lap before being foiled on the line for second by Cradley Heathens youngster Ellis Perks.
More misery was to follow in the very next heat for the 2012 winners as, the usually consistent, Connor Mountain saw his first race end just yards after the tapes rose through a mechanical failure.
Although facing a tall order Connor Coles and Jack Kingston picked up a second and third respectively to bring the Fen Tigers back into contention.
Matters looked to be taking a turn for the better as Kingston tussled with Raiders star Hughes for the race lead in an entertaining heat five.
However a coming together between the pair on the penultimate lap saw Kingston career at high speed into the back straight fence leading to his exclusion from the race.
Belief that progression out of the group stage could still be salvaged was given hope as Halsey made amends for his first race disappointment when charging home for the Fen Tigers sole victory in heat six.
Those slim hopes of making the final were quickly extinguished as Mountain, on a rare off key afternoon, failed to make the start in the penultimate heat leaving him trailing home in last to seal the Fen Tigers early exit from the competition.
The meeting was won by opening semi-final winners the Birmingham Brummies thanks to Adam Ellis’ success over Coventry Storm’s Dan Greenwood in a run-off after both sides finished tied on 15 points.
Attentions for the Fen Tigers will now turn back to the National League on Sunday (3.30pm) with the visit of the Heathens, who will be missing heat leader Nathan Greaves through injury.
In order to put the Fen Tigers, who were scheduled to take on the King’s Lynn Young Stars at the Norfolk Arena in the league last night, in top shape for the clash Jolly has organised a practice session at West Row 24 hours earlier.
“The boys will be coming down to the stadium on Saturday for some practice and to be put through their paces. One of the big issues at Coventry was starting and that needs to sharpen up,” said Jolly.
“There is just no fight in the team at the moment and they are going through the motions. We need to turn that around and hopefully that attitude will kick in and we will see a different side on Sunday.”
Group B Results: Rye House 16: K Hughes 6, L Priest 5, L Chessell 3, Sam Woods 2.
Kent 16: D Ayres 5, B Morley 5, A Baseby 3, J Shanes 3.
Cradley 9:E Perks 3, L Harris 3, M Williamson 2, A Mogridge 1.
Mildenhall 7: D Halsey 4, C Coles 2, J Kingston 1, C Mountain 0.