A patched-up Mildenhall Fen Tigers side – proudly sponsored by Manchetts Rescue and Recovery – took an invaluable two points at Kent’s Old Gun Site track in Iwade in a 45-45 draw on Sunday.

Knowing home wins alone wouldn’t be sufficient to make the play-offs, getting something from this trip to take on the league newcomers was absolutely imperative, but there was also a sense of disappointment it wasn’t the three points, after a last heat 5-1 by the hosts leding to parity on the day.

Two guests covered the heat leader berths - skipper Jacob Edwards was on Championship duty and James Shanes is out for the season due to injury - and rookie Jacob Fellows rode again at reserve, with the R/R facility for another injury casualty in Sam Bebee.

And Josh Warren claimed a sensational paid 19 points - a career best for the Fen Tigers’ reserve and best score away from home by a Mildenhall rider for over a decade.

Warren had a very busy day, taking a full seven rides, and to drop just two points out of 21 to opposing riders was an exceptional achievement for surely the most improved rider of 2022 in the National Development League.

The hosts relied very much on top two Ben Morley and debuant Max Clegg, both former League Riders’ title winners who were both to record maximums.

With such a top two to contend with, it needed a solid all-round team showing by the visitors and that’s what the Fen Tigers gave.

Moving into an early six-point lead by heat five, with two race wins by Warren and Jack Kingston backed by the returning Alex Spooner for a vital early 5-1, the first piece of misfortune hit the visitors in heat six.

Guest Adam Roynon set second behind Morley when he fell on the second bend of lap three, with teammate Fellows unfortunately crashing out as he sought to avoid Roynon.

It was a bad one for teenager Fellows who left in an ambulance with what has now been diagnosed as a displaced break to his fibula and a fractured tibia, both on his left leg.

Even greater pressure was mounted onto Warren and it was fortunate local rider Nathan Hargreave had been drafted in as no. 8, so at least all rides could be covered.

The rerun heat six had seen a right Royal 5-1 for the hosts but the leading margin of six was to be restored in heat nine when Roynon and Warren banged in another maximum heat win for the visitors.

Heats 12 and 13 ultimately saw Mildenhall’s hopes of victory take a major knock as Kingston exercised his customary good gate but went into a 360-degree spin on bend two, losing ground and trailing in last with Warren the winner.

Then in heat 13 an engine failure for Roynon saw the Royals’ top two get a 5-1 and for the first time since heat two the scores were level.

Heat 14 saw Warren again in action for his seventh outing of a busy afternoon and along with Spooner, an absolutely vital 5-1 was achieved.

Now only a maximum from Morley and Clegg in the last heat against guests Roynon and Connor Coles could stop a Fen Tigers win – and that was to be the case and though two points were more than welcomed there was a certain case of reflecting on what might have been.

For Warren it was another highlight of what’s proving to be an exceptional second year in the sport.

“It’s great that everything has clicked into place and all my hard work is paying dividends," he said.

"I guess I like the track at Iwade as I got my first ever double-figure score here earlier in the season and now this paid 19 is my career best.

"To only drop two points out of seven rides [and one of those in the opening heat to Ben Morley who is almost unbeatable around the Old Gun Site track] is obviously very satisfying.

“I’d like to thank all the travelling Fen Tigers’ fans for their amazing support – it truly does make a big difference to us to have such great backing from the fans.”

Warren’s paid 19 is the highest return by a Mildenhall rider in an away match since Cameron Heeps scored 20 against Dudley in his debut season in 2011.

Fen Tigers were due to visit Oxford Chargers in midweek in a vital battle for a top-four play-off spot.