Late flourish gains share of Trophy spoils
Newport 45 Mildenhall 45 Premier Trophy South, Sunday AN end-of-meeting flourish secured a Premier Trophy draw in Wales for the Mildenhall Fen Tigers who dedicated the performance to Brian Snowie. The riders and management had little time to mourn the
Newport 45 Mildenhall 45
Premier Trophy South, Sunday
AN end-of-meeting flourish secured a Premier Trophy draw in Wales for the Mildenhall Fen Tigers who dedicated the performance to Brian Snowie.
The riders and management had little time to mourn the loss of the commercial manager Brian Snowie who died on Friday after illness, but their display befitted the enthusiasm and dedication shown by him throughout his time with the club.
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Mick Horton's men trailed Newport by four points with just two heats left and inspired by their inspirational number one Jason Lyons, the Fen Tigers rattled off two 4-2s to claim a well deserved point.
Mildenhall had kept things tight early in the meeting, with the scores locked at 18-18 after six heats, thanks to their first heat advantage through Daniel King and Jon Armstrong's 4-2 in heat six.
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Another 4-2, this time from Jason King and Barry Burchatt in heat eight, put the Tigers ahead for the first time, 25-23, and things were looking bright for a team many expected to struggle on their travels this season.
The Wasps turned the scoreline on its head with a 5-1 over Shaun Tacey and James Brundle in heat 10 as the pair still look to get the best out of their partnership.
Lyons managed to split the Newport pairing of Craig Watson and Neil Collins in the big-hitters race, heat 13, as the home side opened up a four-point gap but the Fen Tigers saved their best till last.
Again it was the same three that topped the scoring for Mildenhall - Jason Lyons, Daniel King and Jon Armstrong, but they found better support from second-strings Jason King and James Brundle.
Mildenhall are next in action at West Row on Saturday with the return match against Newport with the first bonus point up for grabs.
The meeting starts at 7pm as it now becomes a double-header with the USA Dream Team against the Academy team following the Premier Trophy meeting.
The Conference challenge has been brought forward 24 hours as a cost-cutting exercise to prevent running two meetings in two days.
Somerset 50 Mildenhall 43
Premier Trophy South, Friday
MILDENHALL fought back from a disastrous start at Somerset on Friday evening to go down by just seven points, 50-43, in their first away Premier Trophy fixture of the season.
It was the sort of marginal defeat that promoter Mick Horton would have snapped up prior to the meeting, but it looked a distant reality at the half-way mark as they trailed by nine points and had already used both their tactical gambles.
Jason Lyons broke the tapes in the opening heat but bounced back in style by winning his early tactical ride in heat five to record a Tigers 7-2.
It made a decent dent in the lead already built up by the Rebels who recorded 5-1 maximums in heats three and six, and Horton was ready for his second throw of the dice in heat eight.
But it back-fired, literally, as double-point man Jason King's bike caught fire at the start and it left Jon Armstrong to complete his fourth ride with a win.
Earlier the mighty midget had showed his capabilities with second places in the opening two heats and only a broken seat bracket in his third ride prevented him from getting in amongst the points in that.
Armstrong's heat eight race win was to prove the catalyst for a recover as an away rider won each of the next four heats.
Captain Shaun Tacey's heat 10 victory over Oak Tree Arena specialist Magnus Zetterstrom, ending his chances of a maximum, was a real confidence booster as Lyons followed immediately with an equally impressive win over Glenn Cunningham and Tacey joined Armstrong for a heat 12 max and incredibly there were just three points separating the teams.
A couple of 4-2s in the end pushed the margin slightly wider and the shine of pushing the Rebels to the wire was taken off as news of Brian Snowie's death filtered through to the riders after the last race.
Mildenhall now travel to Newport on Sunday in another Premier Trophy fixture.