Another performance of power, skill and steel from the ‘KJM/Manchetts’ Fen Tigers saw them place one hand on the National Trophy following a 51-39 first leg final victory at arch rivals Cradley.

Missing both Danny Ayres and Josh Bailey from their starting line-up the patched up Fen Tigers were in no mood to end their unbeaten run which now extends to 15 meetings. An inspired choice of guest from promoter Kevin Jolly saw Max Clegg return to his old hunting ground and put in an immaculate performance to score a full five ride maximum. He was backed up by Drew Kemp with paid seventeen whilst Ryan Kinsley was unbeaten in his first three rides before withdrawing after a heavy collision with Ellis Perks that also saw Perks unable to continue. With Captain Jordan Jenkins and reserve pairing Sam Bebee and Matt Marson scoring important points the Fen Tigers led from heat one recording ten heat wins during the evening.

Following the meeting Kevin Jolly said, “This looked an extremely difficult proposition on paper against a very strong Cradley side but once again the lads have upped their game to secure a very important twelve point advantage ahead of Sundays 2nd leg. Max (Clegg) was superb tonight and immediately bought into the club ethos, not only was he exceptional on track he provided good advice to the lads off it as well and fitted in perfectly.

Drew, Ryan, Jordan, Sam and Matt were all brilliant too and the atmosphere in our pits showed what we are all about. With excellent support on the terraces from our loyal supporters it was a good evening all round, with only Ryan’s knock being a slight down. He is positive about riding Friday but we will wait and see before making a firm decision.

The meeting is not over by any means and I am sure Cradley will come at us with a strong team again Sunday so there is plenty more in this final and it will certainly be the place to be on Sunday afternoon”

Cradley Heathens 39

Richard Andrews 13+1 (6 rides), Jason Edwards 7+1 (4), Kyle Bickley 6+1 (4), Jack Smith 5+1 (4), Alfie Bowtell 5+1 (5), Ellis Perks 2 (2) and James Chattin 1 (5)

‘KJM/Manchetts’ Fen Tigers 51

Drew Kemp 15+2 (6 rides), Max Clegg 15 (5), Ryan Kinsley 8+1 (4), Jordan Jenkins 6+2 (5), Matt Marson 4+1 (6) and Sam Bebee 3 (6) – R/R Josh Bailey