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Sunday
2 April, 3:00pm

NDL

Mildenhall
Fen Tigers
v
Kent
Royals

Spring really feels now like it is here and the Mildenhall Fen Tigers – proudly sponsored by Manchetts Rescue and Recovery – are appropriately ready themselves to spring into action, with the opening competitive team action at West Row this afternoon being a first leg Knock Out Cup tie against Kent Royals.

And it’s no ordinary cup tie at that, with the opportunity to be the first side to qualify for the Final of a national competition in the 2022 Speedway season available for the winners over the two legs being contested today and next Sunday.

The opponents are new to the NDL this term – another effort to introduce Speedway to a venue which actually hosted Mildenhall’s very first opponents, then known as the Iwade Colts. That history between the Fen Tigers and sides riding out of the Old Gun Site venue in Swale, Kent is covered in another brilliant article in today’s match programme – great value at just £2.

And there’s great value out on track too as this is sure to be a cracking encounter with Malcolm Vasey and Jason Gardner’s charges not in any way underestimating the challenge posed by the visitors (surprise winners at highly-fancied Plymouth Centurions in their one away match so far this term); but confident that all is prepared well to get at their opponents and build a crucial first leg lead.

The riders were showing that spirit and determination at a team practice session in the Fenland sunshine yesterday and the experienced team supremo Vasey has issued a rallying call,

“The squad have really jelled together quickly and in our warm up last Sunday [the challenge match win over a Poultec Select] showed some really committed racing and a good "one for all" approach which is excellent.”

And Vasey is delighted to welcome new signing, the returnee to the sport and to West Row where he rode for two seasons in the middle of the last decade, Jack Kingston.

Of the Essex-based 26 year old Vasey comments,

“I’m very pleased to have secured the signing of Jack to complete our side, he seems as a person  and a rider to have been reborn within himself and I think he’ll prove to be an excellent acquisition for us.”

The final piece in the team building plans for the reigning NDL champions leaves Vasey feeling an increased sense of confidence,

“We are back on par now, I feel, with the other stronger teams in the league.  Last Sunday and our bonding practice sessions are showing we are a team and in various ways that shone through very clearly last week. Today though is absolutely the real thing with a Cup Final awaiting the winners over the two legs, so we are determined to grab this opportunity with both hands.”

The visitors boast a very strong top two in two times Divisional Riders’ Champion  Ben Morley and former Fen Tiger Alfie Bowtell. The rider from Chelmsford has this season secured a place with a Danish League team – whether he can bring back the bacon at his old home track will be one fascinating question that will be answered when the two teams go to the tapes at a 3pm start time today. 

Gates open at 1.30pm at Mildenhall Speedway, Hayland Drove, West Row, Mildenhall, Suffolk, IP28 8QU. 

Teams [in alphabetical order] {with averages}

Mildenhall Fen Tigers
Sam Bebee 5.16; Jason Edwards 8.84; Jack Kingston 4.44; Ryan Kinsley 9.14; Luke Muff 3.00; Alex Spooner 6.40; Josh Warren 3.00

Kent Royals
Joe Alcock 4.36; Alfie Bowtell 9.78; Jamie Halder 4.63; Ben Morley 9.18; Danno Verge 5.56; Chris Watts 3.00; Sam Woolley 3.00