Tigers storm back
Mildenhall 46 Rye House 44 Premier Trophy, Easter Sunday MILDENHALL snatched victory in a spectacular last-heat finish from their arch-rivals Rye House after storming back from six points down in a classic derby contest. Supporters could barely compreh
Mildenhall 46 Rye House 44
MILDENHALL snatched victory in a spectacular last-heat finish from their arch-rivals Rye House after storming back from six points down in a classic derby contest.
Supporters could barely comprehend the tense atmosphere as the Fen Tigers trailed by six points with just four heats left and then pulled the scores level to set up a grand-slam finish with their top two, Jason Lyons and Daniel King, rising to the challenge and securing a 4-2 that bagged two Premier Trophy points.
Promoter Mick Horton got the 'hit them early' response he was looking for as Lyons and his new No.2 partner James Brundle made sure they caught Ross Brady cold in his first meeting of the season as they stormed away for an opening heat maximum.
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Steve Boxall was on a mission to lead the Rockets to success as he beat Jon Armstrong to the chequered flag in heat two, the first of his four straight wins.
Captain Shaun Tacey caught the brunt of a hard first turn in the next with Edward Kennett and Tommy Allen teaming up for a 5-1 to go ahead. Another swiftly followed, Boxall taking the win and as Daniel King challenged hard behind, Chris Neath came storming around in the dirt on the final bend to sneak second.
Brady got his only points of the night by winning heat five as the Rockets were succeeding on the race-wins front.
The action came thick and fast, Neath again at the heart of it as he fought a four-lap thriller with Brundle in heat 6 and came out on top with another final-bend outside blast to finish behind winner Lyons.
Daniel King made amends for his first race blip by swooping past Kennett to win heat seven, and Boxall won the next to put the Rockets 27-21 ahead at the interval stage.
A succession of shared races followed but the thrilling action didn't stop. Kennett and Brundle fought side by side for four laps in heat 10 before the Rockets man got the edge on the last lap, and Boxall held his nerve to win as Daniel King and Armstrong swarmed all over him in heat 11.
Heat 12 and the turning point of the match. Barry Burchatt was the victim of the first bend bunching domino-effect, as he hit the fence and withdrew from the rest of the meeting on doctors orders after suffering concussion.
Armstrong came in as replacement in the re-run and trailed Boxall at the end of the first lap with Tacey in front. Then the mighty midget pulled off a trademark move, diving through the inside of Boxall on the pits turn in a hard manoeuvre that saw the pair briefly touch and then held off his intentions to repay the compliment to clinch a 5-1 to the delight, and relief, of the home fans.
Lyons won heat 13 with Neath coming through the inside to pass Daniel King as suddenly the scores were levelled up at 39-39.
Heat 14 looked ominous as Allen and Boxall made the gate but Armstrong found room to pass Boxall by the end of the first lap and Jason King came up with the goods too as he rounded the man who had steamrollered the rest at the start of the meeting to set up a winner-takes-all-final race.
And it was the Fen Tigers that came out on top - Daniel King blistering away from the start and Lyons finding a gap between Kennett and the fence to squeeze into third that was enough to clinch an enthralling victory over the auld enemy.
Rye House 50 Mildenhall 40
(94-86 on aggregate)
Premier Trophy, Easter Monday
MILDENHALL pushed Rye House to the final heat of another absorbing encounter between these two adversaries on Easter Monday to decide the destination of the crucial Premier Trophy bonus point, but in the end the reigning holders just got the edge over the Fen Tigers.
Mildenhall had kept things tight throughout the meeting after holding a two-point aggregate advantage from their thrilling win at West Row on Easter Sunday.
It was their 2005 inspirational captain Jon Armstrong who was yet again the saving grace for the team, he piled in with four race wins from reserve, beating Rockets heat leader Edward Kennett twice, to finish with 13 points.
His 4-2 team up with Shaun Tacey, who again struggled to find any real form, in heat 12 put the Tigers just four points behind with three races left.
But a double exclusion for Barry Burchatt, who first touched the tapes and then failed to beat the two minutes' time allowance for the re-run of heat 14, proved crucial as Jason King went on to split the home pairing but the Rockets secured victory and Mildenhall were left needing a 5-1 from the final heat to force a run-off for the bonus point.
But Chris Neath and Ed Kennett spoiled their dreams with a 5-1 of their own.
# Mildenhall's Academy team suffered a heavy defeat in their first Conference League match of the season against Rye House on Saturday.
The Fen Tigers were on the end of a 63-31 reverse.