It’s the biggest afternoon of the season at Mildenhall Speedway – proudly sponsored by Manchetts Rescue and Recovery – on Sunday 8th. October with the staging of the First Leg of the NDL Knock-out Cup [KOC] Final. 

The opponents (as they were in the same stage of this competition last year) are Leicester Lion Cubs and there’s huge determination among the DJS Fen Tigers’ ranks to break the hoodoo the East Midlanders have had the past two campaigns over the Suffolk side and bring home the precious silverware to West Row.

For the visitors (who’ve finished top of the NDL table, as they did last term) there are doubts over the participation of their undoubted top two with Dan Thompson still struggling to confirm his fitness to ride after a recent dislocated shoulder injury; and his twin brother Joe Thompson, knowing that if it’s Oxford which his Championship side Poole are destined to face in that League’s Play Off that they’d be a fixture clash curtailing his involvement in the Fens on Sunday. That scenario (which will not be known until Tuesday’s Glasgow vs. Oxford match) would also mean Leicester would be without their young starlet, GB Youth Champion Ashton Boughen.

Actually neither Thompson sibling were in action for the Lion Cubs in what was effectively little more than a limbering up for the main event to follow, when the two sides met in a ‘dead rubber’ NDL match at Leicester’s Beaumont Park on Friday (29/9).  It was a night when the only luck Jason Gardner’s charges had was of the bad variety – going down 61-28 to their  deadly rivals.

The DJS Fen Tigers’ team boss was in reflective and determined mood in his summation of the events of Friday evening,

“It was a tough night for sure with all seven in our team having bike problems but they kept battling away.  There was some good racing overall with not much reward at all.  Hopefully that's our bad luck out of the way – and now we concentrate entirely on the two legged KOC Final to come.

“It’s essential that we maximise home advantage in the first leg on Sunday and build a lead to defend going back to Leicester next time (in a week on Saturday’s time on 14/10).  As our skipper Lee Complin [who had two awkward falls and limped away with leg injuries on Saturday] summed it up, it was a meeting to get things right for the Final and that’s exactly what we intend to do”.

One plus for Gardner from the match was the form of the latest rider to be tried at Reserve for the DJS Fen Tigers,

“Great credit has to go to Kai Ward who scored paid six, including a really determined ride in heat 14 to pass the useful Foord on the final bend.  Kai’s efforts are hugely appreciated and will be rewarded by a place in our team for the KOC Final now.  He will come in on Sunday in place of Tom Woolley.”

Fen Tigers’ scorers at Leicester for the NDL match on 29/9 were: Alfie Bowtell 11; Arran Butcher 2; Ben Trigger 5; George Congreve 2’ Lee Complin 4; William Richardson 0; Kai Ward 4 + 2.

For the Lion Cubs their winning score was built as follows: Max Clegg [‘Guest’ for injured Dan Thompson] 12 +2; Ashton Boughen 14; Max Perry 15; Tom Spencer 6+1; Joe Thompson – R/R; Vinnie Foord 7+2; Max James 7+2

The KOC Final brings the curtain down on the NDL season at West Row and the Mildenhall management, in issuing a rallying call for a large crowd to cheer on the DJS Fen Tigers pointed out,

“This is our final meeting of the season at Mildenhall Stadium for 2023 and things are very much up in the air in terms of what’s going to follow pending forthcoming meetings with the BSPL [Speedway’s governing body] to determine the sport’s future direction”.

What could be a hugely historic event at Mildenhall Speedway takes place this coming Sunday 8th’. October – gates open at 2.30pm with the tapes up on the KOC Final First Leg vs. Leicester Lion Cubs at 4pm.

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Club Honours

2023 NL KOC Winners
2022 NL Runners Up
2021 NL Champions
2018 NL Trophy Winners
2017 NL Trophy Winners
2014 NL Trophy Winners
2012 NL Champions
NL Fours Champions
NL Pairs Champions
NL KOC Winners
NL Trophy Winners
2011 NL KOC Winners
NL Runners Up
2004 CL Champions
CL Fours Champions
CL KOC Winners
CL Trophy Winners
2003 CL Champions
CL KOC Winners
2002 CL Trophy Winners
2000 CL Cup Winners
1987 Fours Champions
Pairs Champions
1984 Fours Champions
1979 NL Champions