Speedway: Tier-full day!
SPEEDWAY MILDENHALL 43 RYE HOUSE 47 The Suffolk/Herts Trophy First Leg, Sunday MILDENHALL returned to second-tier racing after a 14-year absence in front of a bumper crowd taking in their first meeting of the season and saw the Fen Tigers narrowly defea
MILDENHALL 43 RYE HOUSE 47
The Suffolk/Herts Trophy First Leg, Sunday
MILDENHALL returned to second-tier racing after a 14-year absence in front of a bumper crowd taking in their first meeting of the season and saw the Fen Tigers narrowly defeated in a close first leg of the Suffolk/Herts Trophy to arch rivals Rye House.
There was little separating the two sides on the slick West Row circuit throughout the meeting with Mildenhall taking an early advantage, but the Rockets hit back immediately and the points were locked equal for five heats before two vital 5-1s in the last four heats sealed a first leg advantage for the reigning Premier League champions.
Daniel King, part of that Rye House success last season, showed his former club what they're missing as he returned to the Tigers colours in fine style by executing four straight wins after being beaten in his first race.
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Australian star Jason Lyons was good value too with 10+1 and 2005 hero Jon Armstrong remains a crucial part of the team with paid seven from reserve. The middle order of the side struggled, with captain Shaun Tacey struggling to get out of the starts and Jason King battling mechanical gremlins, but promoter Mick Horton was satisfied with the opening performance.
"It was a good test for the lads against the champions. We're a little bit disappointed to lose but we're still getting used to the track, some need more track time. We could have won it but I'm pretty happy," he said afterwards.
It wasn't until heat seven that the scores were levelled and the home side were fortunate in that second-placed Edward Kennett's bike seized on the final bend to give Daniel King and Jon Armstrong a 5-1 maximum.
Lyons endeared himself to his new fan base as he fought a four-lap tussle with Tommy Allen in heat 10, eventually finding the room on the inside on the final two turns to beat the former Tiger.
For Rye House fans heat 12 came as a real highlight with reserve Luke Bowen and Ed Kennett leading Tacey all the way home from the tapes for a 5-1 which was immediately reversed thanks to top pairing Daniel King and Jason Lyons, the Aussie showing his class to fight his way past Stuart Robson and Chris Neath to grab second.
But as was a regular feature throughout the clash, the Rockets were quickest away from the tapes, this time Allen and Steve Boxall, and a 5-1 in heat 14 ultimately sealed first leg victory.
Daniel King was rightly pleased with his starring performance: "It was really good, I dropped a point in my first ride then I made a few changes and everything seemed to go well from there. The bike was working well and I'm pretty happy with the set-up."
With no home meeting next weekend, the Fen Tigers travel to Rye House on Saturday March 11 for the return leg at 7pm and Horton is in no doubts the Suffolk side can pull off a surprise.
"We've got riders who ride well at Rye House and there's no reason why we can't pull off a surprise there.