Tigers’ trophy hunt is shot to pieces

Isle of Wight 56 Mildenhall 39 Premier Trophy, Tuesday Aggregate: Isle of Wight 90 Mildenhall 97 Mildenhall ended their Premier Trophy campaign in defeat on Tuesday evening as they suffered a 56-39 loss at Isle of Wight that ends their aspirations of a

Isle of Wight 56 Mildenhall 39

Premier Trophy, Tuesday

Aggregate: Isle of Wight 90 Mildenhall 97

Mildenhall ended their Premier Trophy campaign in defeat on Tuesday evening as they suffered a 56-39 loss at Isle of Wight that ends their aspirations of a semi-final spot.

The ASL Freight Fen Tigers needed a victory to put pressure on King's Lynn ahead of their remaining two group fixtures but in the end, despite claiming the aggregate bonus point, they couldn't find enough to turn over the rejuvenated Islanders.

Mildenhall are likely to finish fourth in the southern group, joint with third-place Somerset on 14 points, after a gallant effort in their ten meetings and pushing Premier League high-flyers King's Lynn and Rye House to the wire.

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Australian Jason Lyons was the star for the Tigers, claiming almost half of the team's total with four wins and a second-place whilst on a tactical ride to end with 16 points. He also set the fastest time of the season around the huge 385 metre circuit in heat one.

Captain Shaun Tacey won his first race in heat three and Daniel King succeeded in claiming maximum 6 points from his tactical ride in heat nine, but the team fell well short with the remaining four riders totalling just 5 points between them with a rare off-night for their so often saviour Jon Armstrong.

Mildenhall trailed by just four points after five heats but three 4-2s put the home side into the comfort zone which was briefly halted by Daniel King's tactical ride, but they soon restored a comfortable 11-point lead after a 5-1 in heat 10 which they gradually increased.

Mildenhall promoter Mick Horton had no complaints after seeing his side beaten 56-39 at Isle of Wight on Tuesday that ended their Premier Trophy semi-final hopes. "I have no complaints, we only really had two or three riders on form and you simply cannot carry four riders away from home," he said.

"The track wasn't ideal, it was very wet and bumpy and our guys had a negative approach towards it before the meeting had even started which was disappointing.

"Jason (Lyons) was fantastic, Daniel King did his bit and Shaun Tacey chipped in with some good points too but we simply weren't strong enough. I'm disappointed that we haven't made the last four but am proud of the lads for getting this far and pushing top sides King's Lynn and Rye House all the way.

"Our league campaign starts on Sunday against Workington and our aim is to make the play-offs and prove the doubters wrong. We have shown during our Trophy campaign that we are not an easy touch but we know we need to be more consistent and up our game away from home."

# The Fen Tigers defeated King's Lynn 49-44 on Sunday in Premier Trophy South. King's Lynn won the tie, however, 92-91 on aggregate.


Conference League, Sunday

THE Academy are still searching for their first points of the season after losing out to a spirited Stoke side in a last heat decider.

The home side took the lead with a 5-1 in heat 2 as Trevor Heath and Ben Hopwood swooped inside and out on a startled Sam Dore in one of the few passing manoeuvres managed on a surface ridiculously slick and bald.

The Academy went 15-9 ahead before a succession of 5-1 exchanges took place, the most entertaining of which was heat 8.

18 year-old Ben Barker took the initiative from the tapes and instead of hammering on the throttle, he constantly checked on his team-mate Dore like a seasoned pro for a 5-1 that put the Spitfires 25-23 ahead.

But the fun and games was going on behind them as Hopwood stole James Purchase's line out of the fourth turn, clearly feeling he was the faster of the pair. It was a move that forced Purchase to straighten up and he vented his anger at his team-mate on the track after as the pair went head to head in a heated verbal exchange.

Heat 9 saw a horrendous first bend pile up as Mark Baseby and Scott Courtney collided, sending Baseby into the fence and out of the meeting and he caught Matthew Wright on the way.

But Wright dusted himself down to win the re-run with a blast around the boards to put the scores level and Trevor Heath took the impressive scalp of Barker in the next.

Hopwood showed his bottle in heat 12 by bouncing off the fence and passing Isherwood by the end of the first lap after a tangle on the first bend - true determination from a teenager with a big future.

The Academy led 43-41 going into the final race after a Hopwood/Heath 5-1 in heat 14.

Blayne Scroggins opted for Wright and Bargh, but later admitted in hindsight he should have gone with Heath who had two race wins, and as Wright got nudged off the blue groove line by Jack Hargreaves, the Academy's first points disappeared.

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