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Sunday 26 June


Fen Tigers


Lion Cubs

May Day is sometimes an expression used for a warning of danger and for others is better known as a date symbolised to celebrate Workers of the World.  For the Mildenhall Fen Tigers – proudly sponsored by Manchetts Rescue and Recovery – this first of May they fully intend for their famous work ethic to see them through the second leg of the NDL Knock Out Cup semi coming up on Sunday – and therefore avoid any danger!

The opponents are the Kent Royals – the new name for a team riding out of long-established training track (but not been a league venue for 15 years), Iwade in the Swale district of the county whose name they have adopted.

And the prize at stake: a place in the country’s first Speedway team final of 2022, with Leicester or Berwick awaiting the winners.

The first leg was last week at West Row and Malcolm Vasey & Jason Gardner’s charges established a handy-looking 12 points advantage after a match which ebbed and flowed at times, but finished with a 51-39 win for the Suffolk side.

Hero of the first leg for the Fen Tigers, Sam Bebee is quietly confident about the advantage held going into the second leg,

“I’d say that a 12 points lead is a pretty healthy advantage to take into a second leg.  We will put up a good fight and, as we always do, go all out for the win; and with the advantage we take into the match, it focuses our mind on what’s needed – which is to ensure no last places for sure.

“It’s not a track from a racing point of view that many of us know that well, as it’s not been in the League during our times as riders .  Myself and Alex [Spooner] went there for practice in the immediate pre-season and Alex and Jack [Kingston] have been there a fair few times over the years”

Bebee says the lack of experience at the home of the NDL newcomers (Iwade having not hosted a league side since the mid-noughties) will not phase the Fen Tigers though,

“I’m not really worried about the fact we haven’t raced there as a team before.  From a personal point of view, I remember going to Plymouth for the first time and winning heat one!  Some places as a rider you click with straight away and hopefully Iwade will be another like that.”

The Fen Tigers will be at full strength with Bebee, Spooner and Kingston joining skipper Ryan Kinsley, GB U21 semi final winner Jason Edwards and the reserve duo of Luke Muff and Josh Warren  as the septet looking to ensure the dozen points start is sufficient to gain aggregate success.

Their opponents are also poised to be unchanged, with their top scorers from last week (who contributed more than half the team total) Alfie Bowtell and twice NDL individual Riders’ Champion, Ben Morley looking a particularly strong top two..  The side is completed by a rider, who like Bowtell is a one-time Fen Tiger, now the Royals’ skipper Danno Verge; plus second strings Jamie Halder & Joe Alcock and reserve pairing of 2022 NDL newcomer Chris Watts and the much improved Derbyshire-based Sam Woolley.

The meeting has an early start time of 12pm and the venue is Iwade Speedway, The Old Gun Site, Raspberry Hill Lane, Iwade, ME9 8SN.  

The name of the site reflects that this was a Gunnery Station used in the Second World War to protect the Thames Estuary  (infamously  shooting down legendary aviator Amy Johnson in a catastrophic example of ‘friendly fire’) – so perhaps ‘High Noon’ is an appropriate start time for a day when Mildenhall intend to do the shooting down!