Team Sponsors

On an afternoon of thrilling racing and nip and tuck match scoring, the DJS Fen Tigers – proudly sponsored by Manchetts Rescue and Recovery – stormed back to the top of Speedway’s National Development League [NDL] beating a resolute Edinburgh Monarchs Academy side by 48 points to 41.

Storm clouds had been predicted on Sunday (9/7)but stayed away from a temperate West Row, leaving the only lightning charges those on the track with some electric action.

The action got underway with two of the division’s top two riders, Alfie Bowtell and the visiting Max Clegg pitched against each other in heat one – a highly anticipated match-up only for Aussie first-timer Dayle Wood to change the agenda storming into an early lead. The Fen Tigers’ number one Bowtell was not to be denied though and in determined fashion muscled his way back in front; Wood falling then in vain pursuit.

The passes and falls then came aplenty in the remaining races in the opening quartet of heats. William Richardson trapped brilliantly in heat two and looked certain to hold on for what would’ve been a first second place in his fledgling NDL career only for Mickie Simpson to take him on the line by less than a tyre’s width: disappointment for the teenager and the lead was now with the visitors.

It was a lead they seemed certain to retain as the former Fen Tiger Adam Roynon led heat three by some distance entering the final bend only for his bike to rear up in the dirt on the outside.  The result, a 5-1 to the hosts and back into the lead.

But any advantage gained by that misfortune afflicting Edinburgh’s captain was extraordinarily about to be mirrored by his counterpart in the Mildenhall septet in the very next race. This time it was Lee Complin leading comfortably with just the final bend to negotiate when he suffered a catastrophic shed chain throwing man and machine into the fence yards from the finish. The tough as teak Yorkshireman quickly rose off the deck and pushed home for what would’ve been a third place point, only to find the ref saying he’d already put the red lights on leading to his disqualification.

All of this in just four heats and the score was 13-10.

it was a three point advantage the homesters were to retain over the next less eventful four heats until the visitors other impressive Aussie, Jacob Hook combined with Simpson for a heat advantage that brought the scores to 27-26.

The match was truly nip & tuck now – the inspirational Complin got the better of Clegg in heat 11. Heat 12 saw the Academy battle back with Roynon’s first race win of the afternoon - but Josh Warren’s superbly determined riding to hold off Wood, thus splitting up to the two Monarchs, was absolutely vital as the final stanza of the match began poised at 36-35.

Complin continued his run of wins in the always vital heat 13 though Hook kept his team in contention by passing Bowtell.

All eyes now were on the penultimate race: Wood out again for a seventh outing of a memorably entertaining first ever West Row visit; George Congreve & Warren representing the hosts knowing a heat advantage would clinch the match points. The moustached Aussie was the first to blink, ending his afternoon as he’d begun it on the deck. Congreve was leading then and completed his paid double figures score in the second rerun; Warren holding off the Scots’ ‘Guest’ Jamie Halder in another really determined showing.

That settled the match – with the seven points advantage by far the biggest margin all meeting; one retained when, though Hook completed his personally excellent afternoon by winning heat 15, Complin and Bowtell kept the fading Clegg at the back and a 48-41 win was confirmed and with it a return to the top of the NDL table.

Heroes aplenty in the home side but a special mention is needed for William Richardson in what was by some distance his best performance of this debut season and the Norfolk-based youngster was pleased with his progress,

“I really reaped the benefits of the practice session on the track yesterday and, though frustrating to miss out so narrowly in heat two, am pleased with how things went today. I know I’ve had a slow start of the season but it’s a learning curve and I really feel now that I’m moving forward and am comfortable with how things are going.

“The spirit here among the team is fantastic and I can’t thank all of my team-mates enough for all the help, encouragement & support they give me”.

Also a happy man was team boss Jason Gardner,

“I’m very pleased with the whole team today and yes, it was especially pleasing to see young William [Richardson] right in the mix in all his rides and also a word about that massive second place for Josh [Warren] picking himself off the deck after a heavy crash in heat 14. Edinburgh were a tough outfit and a win by seven points puts us back top of the league and gives us a target to hold onto when we visit north of the border next month”.

With no confirmed date yet for the rearranged match away at Leicester, one of the side’s main rivals for the coveted top two positions in the table (to qualify for the end of season title-deciding play offs), it may well be that it’s not until next month that Gardner’s charges take to track again – certainly the next home meeting at Mildenhall Stadium is on Sunday 6th. August, with reigning champions Leicester Lion Cubs the visitors then.

Mildenhall DJS Fen Tigers 48
Alfie Bowtell            3, 3, 3, 1, 1’        11+1
Arran Butcher          1, 0, 2, 0             3
Ben Trigger             2’, 2, 0, 0             4+1
George Congreve     3, 1’, 2, 3             9+1
Lee Complin            FX, 3, 3, 3, 2        11
William Richardson   1, 1, 1                 3
Josh Warren            0, 3, 0, 2, 2’         7+1

Edinburgh Monarchs Academy 41
Max Clegg              2, 3, 2, 0, 0           7
Kyran Lyden – Rider Replacement
Adam Roynon         FX, 2, 1’, 3             6+1
Jamie Halder [G]    1, 0, EX, 2, 1          4
Jacob Hook            2, 2, 3, 2, 3           12
Mickie Simpson      2’, 0, 1, 1, FX          4+1
Dayle Wood           0, 3, F, 1’, 3, 1, FX   8+1

Heat details
1 Bowtell, Clegg, Butcher, Wood  51.4  [4-2]
2 Wood, Simpson, Richardson, Warren 54.0  [5-7]
3 (stpd/awarded) Congreve, Trigger, Halder, Roynon (fell – last bend)  no time [10-8]
4 (rerun; stpd/awarded) Warren, Hook, Complin (fell – last bend; pshd home, exc.), Wood (fell)  no time [13-10]
5 Clegg, Trigger, Congreve, Simpson 51.3  [16-13]
6 Bowtell, Hook, Wood, Butcher 51.8  [19-16]
7 Complin, Roynon, Richardson, Halder 52.5  [23-18]
8 Wood, Butcher, Simpson, Warren (fell rem), Halder (exc. 2M) 53.8 [25-22]
9 Hook, Congreve, Simpson, Trigger 52.9  [27-26]
10 (rerun) Bowtell, Halder, Roynon, Butcher 53.1 [30-29]
11 (stpd/awarded) Complin, Clegg, Richardson, Simpson (fell exc.) no time [34-31]
12 (rerun) Roynon, Warren, Wood, Trigger 54.5  [36-35]
13 Complin, Hook, Bowtell, Clegg 53.3  [40-37]
14 (rerun twice) Congreve, Warren, Halder, Wood (fell exc.) 55.3 [45-38]
15 (rerun) Hook, Complin, Bowtell, Clegg 53.5  [48-41]