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Both Fen Tigers representing Mildenhall Speedway – proudly sponsored by Manchetts Rescue and Recovery – at Sunday’s (25/9) National Development League Riders’ Championship [NDLRC] at Scunthorpe impressed, with Jack Kingston finishing a highly creditable seventh on his first appearance in the event and skipper Jason Edwards making the rostrum, finishing third.

Jason dropped just two points finishing agonisingly one point adrift of the champion, a rider himself well known to Edwards of course and to the travelling Mildenhall fans, as it was former Mildenhall captain from last season, Jordan Jenkins.

13 points for Edwards put him into a run off for second with the red hot ante-post favourite Max Clegg – with Jason unable to catch the fast gating former NDLRC champion and having to settle in the end for the bronze medal. That was a reprise indeed of Jason’s first ride where he picked up two points behind Clegg – the latter going into the division’s showpiece event after having finished the season with a record-smashing 12 point average.

Edwards’ next ride was a classic – scrapping hammer and tongs with Armadale’s Lee Complin and, as in heat four, the Mildenhall skipper was just unable to get past the more experienced man and so after two rides Jason sat on four points.

Early pace setter had been Leicester’s Joe Thompson springing the first surprise of the evening by finally subjecting Clegg to his first NDL race defeat of the season in his second ride.  Two-times former champion, the other representative from Kent, Ben Morley also won his first two rides as had done Jenkins.

It was Jenkins up next for Edwards in a crucial heat 9, where incredibly the Mildenhall man was up against all three of the then currently unbeaten trio. And Jason burst right back into contention by beating them all – Jenkins in second to retain the overall lead and Joe Thompson and Morley’s challenges fading away after this reverse.

Meanwhile Jack Kingston was proving the surprise packet of the afternoon.

A steady start picking up three points from a difficult opening two heats was followed by race wins in heats 11 and 13 – the latter a sensational ride by the exuberant Jack, coming from behind to leave both Thompson siblings and Complin in his wake.

Edwards knew now that only further wins from his last two outings would suffice and he duly delivered to finish on 13 points, meaning that Jenkins (who’d beaten Clegg in their showdown meeting in their fourth rides) could only overhaul him with a final race win in heat 20 – which pitched him up against Kingston!  Sadly Jack was to fall in this one and the ex-Mildenhall captain Jenkins made no mistake, taking the heat win and the NDLRC title. 

For the Mildenhall pairing and indeed their team mates preparing themselves for the assault in October on the League & Cup Double, this was though a very heartening experience: Jason back on track and in imperious form after that very nasty knock to his right shoulder in a high speed crash at the last home meeting earlier this month; and Jack having no repeat of the machinery woes which bedevilled him in that same meeting and collecting surely the stand out race win since his return this season to the sport.

Next up is a waiting game still to see the outcome of two fixtures this weekend which will decide the final one to four positions in the NDL table and therefore who the Fen Tigers will face in the all-important Play Offs.

Finishing order:

1st. Jordan Jenkins (Oxford Chargers) - 3, 3, 2, 3, 3 = 14
2nd. Max Clegg (Kent Royals) - 3, 2, 3, 2, 3 = 13 (after run off) 
3rd. JASON EDWARDS (MILDENHALL FEN TIGERS) - 2, 2, 3, 3, 3 = 13
4th. Lee Complin (Armadale Devils) - 2, 3, 3, 1, 2 = 11
5th. Ben Morley (Kent Royals) - 3, 3, R, 3, 1 = 10
6th. Dan Thompson (Leicester Lion Cubs) - 2, 2, 2, 2, 2 = 10
8th. Joe Thompson (Leicester Lion Cubs) - 3, 3, 1, 0, 2 = 9
9th. Tom Woolley (Armadale Devils) - 1, 0, 1, 2, 3 = 7
10th. Jack Smith (Belle Vue Colts) - 1, 1, 2, 1, 2 = 7
11th.  Ben Trigger (Plymouth Centurions) - 1, 1, 1, 1, 1 = 5
12th. Jody Scott (Oxford Chargers) - 0, 1, 0, 2, 1 = 4
13th. = Luke Harrison (Unattached) - 2, 1, F/X, 0, 0 = 3
13th. = Harry McGurk (Belle Vue Colts) - 0, 0, 2, 0, 1 = 3
15th. Mason Watson (Berwick Bullets) - 0, 0, 1, 1, 0 = 2
16th. Luke Crang (Berwick Bullets) - 0, 0, R, R = 0

Also rode:  Jack Shimelt (Unattached) - 0 = 0