TRAVEL PLUS TOURS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Buxton Hitmen 37 Mildenhall Fen Tigers 53
After nearly a season-and-a-half of near misses and disappointments the ‘KJM/Manchetts’ Fen Tigers ended their away day blues in the most emphatic manner with a scintillating sixteen point win at Buxton on Sunday.
Although Buxton managed to keep hold of a rampant Fen Tigers septet in the early heats, it was the visitors who were providing the heat winners following a victory in heat one for the returning home number one Lee Dicken.
Connor Mountain twice, Danny Halsey, Jon Armstrong and Alfie Bowtell all saw the chequered flag as the visitors took a four point lead after six heats.
Heats seven and eight effectively took the meeting away from Buxton as first Halsey, and then Connor Coles, combined for a 5-1 before Chris Widman and Bowtell repeated the dose in heat eight to extend the Fen Tigers’ lead to 12.
Another impressive victory for the ultra-fast Mountain in heat nine followed with Luke Ruddick picking up a third place to see the lead further extended.
The Armstrong, Widman pairing secured victory with another 5-1 in heat 11 as the Fen Tigers stretched their lead to 20 points.
Another smooth and controlled victory from Danny Halsey in heat 12 saw him record a paid maximum from his programmed rides, before Luke Ruddick won heat 14 to complete a nap hand for the visitors as every rider had recorded a heat win or paid heat win. Ruddick shot from gate four to win by a distance, though another 5-1 was missed when the hard-riding Coles slid off entering the final lap.
A 5-1 reserve in heat 15 gave the final scoreline a little more respectability for the home side, but no-one in the Fen Tigers’ camp was complaining as a 16 point victory to add to the previous Sunday’s big home win suggested it could be a very interesting remainder of the season.
Club chairman Kevin Jolly was left beaming after another sparkling display from his riders.
“This has been coming for a while and with a little fortune the margin of victory could have been considerably more. That said, I am not complaining as every rider gave his all today and made an important contribution to the victory,” he said.
“The three heat leader rode superbly and Colesy should have got more for his efforts, but the bottom three really gave the top lads the important backing required to win away. Chris (Widman), Luke (Ruddick) and Alfie (Bowtell) all scored excellent points carrying on from last Sunday.”
He added: “Speedway is a confidence sport and you saw today a difference in those three that they can now build on for the remainder of the season.”
Buxton Hitmen: 37
Parkinson-Blackburn (G) 10+1 (5 rides), Blacklock 9+1 (5), Rutherford 7+2 (6), Dicken 6+1 (4), Geary 3+1 (5), Speight 2 (4), R/R Burton.
Mildenhall KJM/Manchetts Fen Tigers: 53
Mountain 12 (5 rides), Halsey 11+1 (5), Armstrong 9+1 (4), Bowtell 7 (4), Widman 6+3 (4), Coles 4 (4), Ruddick 4 (4).