The ‘KJM/Manchetts’ Fen Tigers promotion must have run over more than one black cat as bad luck struck more than once before the meeting even started!

Already missing the impressive Luke Ruddick through a sickness bug, reserve Danno Verge flipped off the back of his bike on the parade lap suffering a shoulder injury that took him out of the meeting. With number eight William O’Keefe called into the team to join Alex Spooner the inexperienced youngsters suddenly had eleven rides to take between them including three rider replacement rides.

The Fen Tigers struggled in the early heats and a 5-1 in heat four when Danny Halsey slid off on the second bend saw the visitors take an early six point lead. Two heats later it was eight points as Max Clegg and Lee Geary combined for a 4-2 over Connor Mountain and Spooner. Heat wins from Danny Halsey and Jon Armstrong in heats seven and eight kept the gap to eight but the Fen Tigers were struggling for heat advantages. Heat nine saw only the second home heat advantage of the afternoon as Jon Armstrong produced a classic Captains ride to go round the outside of Clegg and with Jordan Jenkins chasing hard to the line the gap was reduced to six. Heat eleven saw the gap reduced further to four points when Halsey produced a storming ride to beat the unbeaten Matt Williamson, with a highly impressive ride from Spooner in third.

Suddenly the home support were sensing another exciting finale at West Row and after another win for Armstrong in heat twelve, Mountain and Halsey produced another masterful heat thirteen to leave Williamson and Clegg in their wake. The scores were level at 39-39 with all to play for in the final two races but although Jenkins produced a brilliant move round Tom Woolley and the impressive Jamie Halder, Spooner couldn’t find a way past and it was all level with one race left. Mountain gated with Halsey close up behind Williamson in third and it looked like once again we home side were about to provide another big turn around, but this time it wasn’t to be as Williamson found good speed to pass Mountain and the meeting ended tied at 45 apiece.

Promoter Kevin Jolly was proud of the fight back, he said “We had no luck today and without both Luke and Danno and operating R/R it was always going to be a big ask for us. That said the lads knuckled down and nearly produced another great fight back. We really didn’t want to drop another point at home but in all honesty we could have easily come away with nothing from today. The top four again were excellent and the two kids at the bottom did their very best.

Today makes our task harder no doubt but we go to the Island and Plymouth looking to bring home the away points that will put us right back in the Play-Off picture, there is plenty to play for in the league and the other two competitions”
Saturday evening saw the Fen Tigers secure their place in the semi final of the KO Cup despite losing 49 – 41 on the evening. With guest Ben Morley (13) and Jordan Jenkins (12+1) in fine form the overall result was never in doubt and now the Fen Tigers await the winners of the Belle Vue/Cradley Quarter Final tie.

‘KJM/Manchetts’ Fen Tigers 45
Connor Mountain 12 (5 rides), Jon Armstrong 11+1 (5), Danny Halsey 9+2 (5), Jordan Jenkins 9 (4), Alex Spooner 4 (7), William O’Keefe 0 (4) and R/R Luke Ruddick
 
Buxton ‘Hitmen’ 45
Matt Williamson 12 (5 rides), Jamie Halder 8+2 (4), Max Clegg 8 (5), Ryan Kinsley 7+1 (4), Tom Woolley 5+1 (4), Lee Geary 3+1 (4) and Shelby Rutterford 2+1 (4)
 
Saturday Evening
 
Stoke ‘A R Richards’ Potters 49
Mitchell Davey 14 (5 rides), Tony Atkin 9 (5), Paul Burnett 6+1 (4), Lee Dicken 6+1 (4), Ryan Terry-Daley 6+1 (4), Luke Priest 4+3 (4) and Shaun Tedham 4+3 (4)
 
‘KJM/Manchetts’ Fen Tigers 41
 Ben Morley 13 (5 rides), Jordan Jenkins 12+1 (5), Jon Armstrong 9+1 (5), Drew Kemp 4 (6), Danno Verge 2 (5), Danny Halsey 1 (4) and R/R Luke Ruddick