It’s The Final Countdown for the 2023 season at Mildenhall Speedway – proudly sponsored by Manchetts Rescue and Recovery – this Sunday (8th. October) and it couldn’t be a bigger match to finish with. The National Development League [NDL] Knock-out Cup Final pitches the DJS Fen Tigers against the current holders, Leicester Lion Cubs – and as the two clubs are the league champions from the past two seasons (Mildenhall in 2021; Leicester in 2022) it’s a real battle of the NDL’s king-pins – a battle literally of the big cats to see who’s top dog!

The teams are confirmed now for this first leg (on Sunday 8th. October; 4pm start time). The visitors find themselves without their talismanic twin spearhead of the Thompson brothers – the number one in the Lions’ pride Dan Thompson is out injured after suffering a dislocated shoulder; whist his sibling Joe is on Championship duty with the Poole Pirates in that division’s Play Off Final up in Glasgow. Coming in to attempt to replace the Thompson twins’ renowned high points scoring are Jack Smith (a successful visitor earlier this term to West Row with the Belle Vue Colts) and the entertaining Aussie who rides for Edinburgh, Jacob Hook. The Lion Cubs have Tom Spencer back from the injury which kept him out of the NDL match when the East Midlanders last visited; and he captains the young side which is completed by four teenagers, former World Youth champion Max Perry, his namesake Max James, the always lively Vinnie Foord and 2023 British Youth title winner in the 500cc class, Norfolk-based Ashton Boughen.

The late rearrangement of that Glasgow vs. Poole match in the Championship Play Offs has led to a change in the DJS Fen Tigers ranks also, as club captain Lee Complin doubles with the Scottish-based Tigers. Alfie Bowtell (in sparkling form, getting stronger as the season goes on) skippers the side which sees another hugely promising young talent who hails from Norfolk, Jody Scott come in as Guest replacement for the missing Complin. Jody began as a second halfer at Mildenhall and first came to national prominence when sensationally qualifying for the GB U21 Final last season in a hugely impressive showing in the semi-final at West Row.

The DJS Fen Tigers have sorely missed concussive-injury victim Josh Warren in recent NDL matches and his continued absence in the reserve berth is covered this time by Kai Ward. The youngster who hails from Woolacombe in North Devon impressed in the last NDL match (actually at Leicester) and has done enough to have the confidence of Mildenhall team boss Jason Gardner who has the rest of his side at full strength.

Gardner commented,

“It’s so important that we get a win in the first leg on Sunday. That has to be our first priority and obviously the bigger the winning margin can , the better. But we do at the very minimum need that win to send our fantastically loyal fans at West Row home for the winter on the back of a long-overdue win over Leicester.

“We have a coachload of supporters travelling up to the East Midlands for the second leg on Saturday week (14th.)  and we want to give them something to be able to cheer on there.

“I’ve said to the riders that this is the time for them absolutely to go for it because it’ll be a long winter spent with regrets if we don’t try everything and leave nothing behind on the track”.

And on behalf of the ownership team, Phil Kirk joined in with a rallying call too,

“We really do need our supporters to come out in great numbers and to be the 'extra person' on Sunday. The weather is set fair and it is a Cup Final – it’s the perfect time for all who’ve been Mildenhall supporters over the years or indeed others who’ve followed our fortunes but not attended before this season to come together in the unique family atmosphere at West Row to get behind the team.

“There’s major silverware up for grabs and there’s a long and uncertain winter to follow (we are awaiting meetings with the sport’s governing body the BSPL on how they see the direction of the NDL going into 2024), so everyone needs to pack those terraces and give the DJS Fen Tigers their loud backing for this last meeting of the year.

“After Sunday's meeting we will be opening the track, unless we have significant delays, and invite all fans to join us on the track. Youngsters are welcome to bring their pushbikes and have a ride round the circuit.” 

Gates open at 2.30pm; the Cup Final parade of riders is at 3.40pm; and it’s tapes up on one of the biggest meetings at Mildenhall Speedway for decades at 4pm.

Social Media Links

facebook logo

Instagram logo

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