Scroggins slams track

Mildenhall 32 Rye House 58 Conference KO Cup Quarter-Final, First Leg Sunday, July 2 MILDENHALL Academy look set to follow the fortunes of their Premier League counterparts by exiting the KO Cup after suffering a 58-32 defeat to Rye House in the first l

Mildenhall 32 Rye House 58

Conference KO Cup Quarter-Final, First Leg

Sunday, July 2

MILDENHALL Academy look set to follow the fortunes of their Premier League counterparts by exiting the KO Cup after suffering a 58-32 defeat to Rye House in the first leg of their quarter-final clash at West Row on Sunday.

The Academy trailed the Raiders by 10 points after nine heats and with riders struggling to contend with the very slick track conditions, team boss Blayne Scroggins made the bold decision not to use any tactical rides, where points are doubled, to prevent further pressure on his young riders.

The Academy slumped to their eighth straight defeat of the season and now look set to go no further in the competition with the second leg date to be confirmed.

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Raiders' number one Ben Powell was the pick for the visitors with a couple of thrilling blasts around the boards which included a final bend swoop on James Purchase in the opening heat and somehow managing to squeeze between Mark Baseby and the safety fence to win heat five.

The hosts were dealt a blow with Mark Thompson forced to pull out of the meeting after one race suffering from dehydration whilst Ben Hopwood and Andrew Bargh grabbed a race win each in the early stages.

Matthew Wright earned his only points of the night amongst three retirements by winning heat nine whilst Hopwood and Trevor Heath revelled in their extra rides with some fine performances.

They relegated Barry Burchatt to last in heat 11 and Hopwood led Harland Cook and Lee Strudwick all the way in heat 12 until his engine cruelly blew just yards from the line, leaving him with just a point for his efforts and fans gutted for the gutsy 15-year-old.

The highlight for the Academy came in heat 13 as Heath blasted away from gate three and ended Powell's aspirations for a maximum.

Baseby provided yet more all-out effort for little reward, swarming all over Burchatt in heat nine in an attempt to grab second. But his efforts came to no avail and in heat 14 he tried in vain to split the Raiders pair.

Scroggins admitted his disappointment in track conditions and defended his decision not operate any tactical rides during the meeting.

"The track was very poor, to the extent that Jason Lyons questioned whether our Conference lads should have gone ahead with the meeting" he said.

"It was so slick that the engines were revving very high and the tyres were red hot after races.

"I was very demoralised by the track conditions which was not good enough for this club. The riders were not comfortable with the surface and I did not want to put them under further pressure by using the tactical rides.

"I'm aware I could come in for some criticism and people say that I was being negative, but I had to make the decision with my riders' safety put first."

Premier League

Mildenhall 45 Redcar 45

Mildenhall had to come from behind to snatch a draw in the final heat of this thrilling Premier League contest against newcomers Redcar after holding an eight point lead at one stage.

The ASL Freight Fen Tigers looked odds on to grab a confidence-boosting win as they led comfortably after nine heats, but two swift 1-5 maximums for the Bears in the space of three heats wiped that eight point advantage out.

Then a controversial refereeing decision in the penultimate heat, resulting in a 2-4 advantage, left Mildenhall needing a 5-1 maximum in the final heat to secure victory but Czech star Tomas Suchanek split the home pairing of Daniel King and Jason Lyons, leaving both teams to take away a point each.

In the blistering heat of West Row, the Fen Tigers operated rider replacement for Jon Armstrong who sustained a back injury in the Vic Harding individual memorial meeting the night before at Rye House and was awaiting results of tests on Monday.

Lyons won the meeting with seven perfect race wins, Brent Werner finished fourth and Daniel King made the semi-finals after suffering a broken chain in one of his qualifying races which resulted in Armstrong's injury as he tried to avoid him.

Lyons kept that momentum up in the opening heat against Redcar as he beat former world champion Gary Havelock to the chequered flag with Jason King in third.

James Brundle, now a reserve following Armstrong's elevation into the main body of the team, found plenty of dirt to pass Jack Hargreaves and split his pairing up with Daniel Giffard in heat two.

More passing action in the next as Daniel King took full advantage of Suchanek's misjudged corner to go on and win, and then Mathieu Tresarrieu blasted around the boards on the final two turns to sneak third ahead of Jason King by inches.

Mildenhall had no problems in supplying the race winners in the first half of the meeting - Werner, Daniel King and Lyons all crossed the line first over the next three heats.

Suchanek began to show his style as he swooped around Werner to win heat seven before the Fen Tigers grabbed a firm hold of the match.

Daniel King was inspired, winning heats eight and nine comfortably, and with Brundle and Jason King following home respectively for maximums, Mildenhall went 31-23 ahead.

But Suchanek swiftly led the Redcar comeback, teaming up with Tressarrieu in heat 10 and Giffard in heat 12 for their own 5-1s to square the scores at 36-36.

Heat 14 ultimately played a huge part on the outcome of the result. With Jason King leading comfortably as he entered the third lap, Brundle locked on the apex of the third and fourth turn as he challenged for third and landed spectacularly. He quickly got to his feet and pushed his bike to the centre green safely out of the riders' way.

Trainee referee Dave Robertson, under the watchful eye of Mick Bates, stopped the race despite Brundle being clear and excluded the fallen home man.

Although King had just a lap left to complete, he awarded a re-run to the surprise of most people in the stadium.

Tresarrieu got the drop on King in the restart and made no mistake to win, giving the Teesiders a two point advantage going into the final heat.

Heat 15 was going well as Lyons and Daniel King were side by side out in front until Lyons drifted off his inside line and allowed Suchanek through to grab second a point for the Bears.

Tigers' promoter Mick Horton admitted the turning point came with that crucial refereeing decision.

He said: "We rode well up until heat 10 as we led by eight points but then the two 5-1s against us really knocked us, no-one expected Jason Lyons and Daniel King to come last as they did."

"The refereeing decision in heat 14 was the turning point but there's no point in talking about that, the damage is done and now the talk is about the future of the club.