Tigers pairing have Scot what it takes

Mildenhall 52 Edinburgh 41 Premier League, Sunday MILDENHALL needed Daniel King and Jason Lyons to produce their top form and a couple of mid-meeting 5-1 maximums to see off a determined Edinburgh. King raced to a paid six-ride maximum and Lyons dropped

Mildenhall 52 Edinburgh 41

Premier League, Sunday

MILDENHALL needed Daniel King and Jason Lyons to produce their top form and a couple of mid-meeting 5-1 maximums to see off a determined Edinburgh.

King raced to a paid six-ride maximum and Lyons dropped just a point in his five rides as the duo won heats nine and 10 respectivelywith Jason King for two maximum advantages to swiftly turn a slender 25-23 lead into a healthy 35-25 margin.

Both teams and their supporters had to wait for 90 minutes for the meeting to get under way as the non-arrival of sufficient medical cover meant a lengthy delay.

Club administrator Steve Dolby said: "We had a problem highlighted to us late Friday afternoon regarding staffing the ambulance for the meeting. However, after phone calls between myself and the ambulance provider these were resolved on Saturday morning.

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"Unfortunately, there seemed to be a breakdown in communication between their office and their other staff, resulting in one crew not showing, and they had to be mobilised from outside the area, with some staff also coming over from the motocross track after their event had finished.

"We had offers from qualified first aiders in the crowd but, unfortunately, were not able to use them as they were not insured through Mildenhall Speedway or the service provider.

"I would like to thank all the supporters, riders and staff for their patience and hope they could appreciate this was out of our hands."

But the wait was worth it as the two, both languishing in the bottom reaches of the Premier League table, served up a contest that was as hot as the West Row summer temperature.

The Monarchs were unlucky not to pick up a 5-1 in the opening heat as Matthew Wethers, who was closely following team-mate Theo Pijper, picked up drive out of the fourth turn with the last lap flag in sight and clouted the fence as he came to grief on the floor.

The visitors grabbed a 4-2 in heat two which was quickly cancelled out by the King brothers in the following heat, although it could have been more had Jason King's spluttering machine not allowed Wethers through to take second.

Four successive shared heats followed as the scores remained level. Reserve Derek Sneddon was proving to be a plucky opponent as he followed up his heat two win by pushing American World Cup rider Brent Werner all the way until the home man got the edge to win heat four.

Mildenhall were dominating the race wins, taking the chequered flag eight times out of the first 10 heats and went on to win 11 of the 15 races, but they couldn't shrug off their Scottish opponents to take the lead until heat eight.

That race saw Daniel King and James Brundle earn a 4-2, then King teamed up with his brother Jason for a 5-1 in heat nine. When Lyons did likewise in the next, a healthy 10-point advantage went to the Fen Tigers.

That was immediately halved as Pijper held off intense pressure from Brundle to win a tactical ride for a 2-7 advantage, but a Lyons/Werner 4-2 in heat 13 put the scores at 44-37 and meant only successive Monarchs 5-1s could deny Mildenhall victory.

Sneddon took his second win in heat 14 but with the Tigers pair filling in the minor places, the league points were in the bag.

To bolster their chances of the aggregate bonus, Lyons and Daniel King completed the performance with a 5-1 that gives them a 11-point lead to defend in the return next month.

Promoter Mick Horton said: "It was a very good team performance. Edinburgh put up a good effort for the first eight heats but then our boys pulled away.

"At the start of the season, without Brent we lacked three genuine heat leaders, but we've got that now and they're performing consistently well.

"Jason King had another good meeting - a bit unlucky with equipment failure - but he's riding well, James Brundle scored well with 8+1 but, unfortunately, Barry Burchatt is struggling at the moment."

Mildenhall Academy 49

Plymouth 44

Conference League. Sunday

Aggregate: Mildenhall Academy 91 Plymouth 98

MILDENHALL Academy could not have produced a bigger scalp as they grabbed their first win of the season.

They beat the league leaders in one of the biggest Conference League shocks of the season.

It lifted the Academy off the bottom of the table as they followed up last Wednesday's impressive 45-45 draw at Stoke with their first victory at the eleventh attempt.

It was a major confidence-booster for team boss Blayne Scroggins, who revealed he had almost quit the club last week after he felt the Academy were being dealt a "second-rate" hand at Mildenhall.

The Devils gained an early advantage with Andrew Bargh falling as he comfortably led the opening heat, but the Academy produced a succession of heat advantages to go 23-13 in front.

Matthew Wright and Mark Thompson defeated former West Row favourites Chris Johnson and Lee Smart in heats three and four but it was Mark Baseby that stood out.

With his never-say-die attitude, he blasted under ex-Elite League rider Seemond Stephens in heat five to earn a 5-1 with Wright, and then Bargh and James Purchase teamed up for another maximum in heat six as Smart continued his woeful return with a second zero.

Johnson halved the10-point lead with a tactical ride win in heat seven but again it was Baseby that was wooing the home crowd with a breathtaking ride in heat nine.

He swarmed all over Smart as he looked for an opportunity to pass and, with his chance seemingly gone, he made a final effort to the line and somehow found the speed to beat the former Premier man by a wheel.

Bargh responded superbly from his unlucky first ride fall to pass both Johnson and Tom Brown to win heat 10 and then he passed Smart to relegate him to last place three heats later.

Wright completed a hat-trick of wins as he beat Johnson in heat 12 and Thompson carried his captain's mantle with authority as he defeated Stephens in the next.

Baseby rode the back wheel of Brown in heat 14 and although this time he could not get past, his second place was enough to ensure the win.

The Devils were robbed of a final heat 5-1 as Johnson slowed on the final turn, almost causing Baseby to fall, and the pair exchanged verbal blows as they crossed the line.

Scroggins said: "I'm absolutely delighted. Plymouth are top of the league, we were bottom and we deserved the victory.

"As I've been saying all season, once they get their regular meetings and they all hit form, we will beat a good team and what a team to beat in the one sitting at the top.

"I was really pleased to see Mark (Baseby) scoring the points again. He deserved his ride in heat 15 - he's being trying so hard all season."

Scroggins almost quit last Tuesday after being an unhappy observer at a recent fans' forum as promoter Mick Horton stated in hindsight that he felt it was a mistake to run the Conference team this year, as well as having had a poor race surface most weeks and a scheduled Conference double-header.

He said: "I wasn't happy how the Conference team were being treated and I was disappointed with some comments made about the Conference League at the fans' forum, people saying let's not bother with it, and I went away very disillusioned.

"On Tuesday, I was probably finished, but on Wednesday I decided to stay and I was really proud of the performances at Stoke and against Plymouth, which made it all worthwhile, and I am really glad to still be involved."

Stoke 45 Mildenhall Academy 45

Conference League

Wednesday, July 12

MILDENHALL Academy celebrated their first Conference League point of the season after an excellent and hard-fought performance earned them a draw.

There was no doubting that the youngsters deserved their share of the spoils as they recorded eight of the 15 race wins and went agonisingly close to picking up the aggregate bonus point, losing out 89-91.

The Academy produced a superb turnaround as they led 40-38 with just two heats left after trailing by six points (21-15) after heat six.

Fifteen-year-old Ben Hopwood continued his outstanding recent form by teaming up in both of the Tigers' early 4-2 heat advantages. He won heat two with Trevor Heath in third and was there to pick up the crucial point when Mark Thompson won heat four.

New Zealander Andrew Bargh responded after suffering an engine failure while second in the opening heat to split the Spitfires pair in heat six.

In two successive races the Academy swiftly wiped out Stoke's six-point lead. Matthew Wright took the first of his three race wins in heat seven, with Mark Baseby in third, and Hopwood was again teaming up to great success as he partnered home James Purchase for a 5-1 maximum in heat eight.

Stoke immediately hit back with a 5-1 of their own but two further Academy 4-2s, with Wright and Bargh taking race wins in heats 10 and 11 respectively, put the scores back level.

Wright completed his hat-trick of race wins in heat 12, and when Thompson won the next with Bargh in third, the Academy led by two points with the finish in sight, but Ben Barker completed his maximum and grabbed a point for Stoke.

Academy team boss Blayne Scroggins said: "All the lads can be extremely proud of themselves.

"The meeting was nip and tuck all the way and, unfortunately, we just couldn't hold on to the lead we had after heat 13."

Mildenhall switch race night to Saturday for a double-header against Newport in the Premier League followed by the Conference League fixture. This has a confirmed start time of 6pm.

On Sunday, at 2.30pm, they race both return fixtures at Newport.

Conference Trophy dates

MILDENHALL Academy will compete in group 2 of the Conference Trophy against Boston and Scunthorpe and will race both teams home and away.

Group 1 consists of Plymouth, Buxton and Stoke. The winners of each group will meet in the final.

The Academy race their home fixtures against Boston and Scunthorpe in this competition in a double-header at West Row on Sunday, July 30, at 3.30pm.

The away fixture against Boston takes place on Friday, August 4, and the club are consulting with Scunthorpe about a new date for their fixture as the released date by the Scorpions (August 13) clashes with Mildenhall's Premier League northern tour.

The Academy will not be entering the Conference Shield competition.