The tail-end of Storm Babet saw Leicester Speedway track this time under several inches of water, making the cancellation of this weekend’s second attempt to get the National Development League [NDL] KOC Final second leg on a far easier and earlier call to make – the decision to pull the plug happening on Saturday afternoon.

So the frustration continues for Mildenhall DJS Fen Tigers – proudly sponsored by Manchetts Rescue and Recovery - with so many echoes of the several abortive attempts to stage what was in that case the NDL Play Off Final last year at the same place, same (inclement) time.

That frustration one hopes this time shan’t need to break into November with the news that the third attempt to get the KOC Final finished is to take place at the East Midland city club’s Beaumont Park stadium on this coming Saturday, 28th. October.

There was very welcome news too for the Mildenhall fans (and others) who’d travelled in vain for the first abortive staging on the 14th. with Leicester Speedway giving an undertaking to give a full cash refund to those unable to use the readmission tickets.

The restaging is (as was planned this weekend too) going to see the KOC Final as the second part of a ‘double header’, with the first action on at 6.30pm going to see the hosts and reigning NDL champions taking on Oxford Chargers in what’s now to be the First Leg of the Play-Off Final.

Mildenhall will get on track after the completion of that first match – anticipated to be at around 8.15pm.

Leicester will be at full strength with Dan Thompson fit again to join his brother Joe, aiming in the twins’ case for a second successive League & Cup ‘Double’.  Vinnie Foord who was serving a concussion riding ban has benefited from the twice delayed staging and is fit to return at reserve for the Lion Cubs.

For Jason Gardner’s Fen Men it’s a rather different picture.  George Congreve has returned home to New Zealand and his place is filled in the second string middle order by Fen Tigers’ debutant Andrew Braithwaite. Then came news today this weekend that Sam Woolley has dislocated his shoulder in a Mountain Biking prang; and so there’s a second Mildenhall first-timer in the ranks: 15-year-old Billy Budd from Ellesmere Port on the Wirral making his senior Speedway bow as a reserve for the visitors.

Billy has been making quite a name for himself this season riding for the Birmingham Bulls in the Midland Development League as well as in the Youth Championship, finishing in third place in the Round at Edinburgh Speedway back in June.  

Not many riders of his age have, like Billy did earlier this month, had a two page spread about them, concentrating on his family’s efforts to get their son’s career off the ground, in the sport’s national magazine, ‘Speedway Star’ - so it’s a coup for the DJS Fen Tigers to be able to give this Budd-ing youngster his senior racing debut.

Billy will be partnered at reserve by former Leicester Lion Cubs’ Kai Ward – whose experience of the Beaumont Park circuit could be something of an ace card.

Guesting at number one for the DJS Fen Tigers is the hugely-experienced Ben Morley (a winner of the League Riders’ Championship on this very circuit five years ago); and skipper Lee Complin is in determined mood for this last hurrah for his 2023 NDL side.

Readmission tickets cover the Mildenhall part of the double header, so travelling Fen Tigers’ fans can opt to pay extra to get into the first match vs. Oxford too or bide their time and wait until the Suffolk side come on track for the KOC Final second leg – looking, in case all these delays and all the water that’s flowed under the bridge (metaphorically and actually) have caused people to forget, to overturn an 11 points deficit from the first leg.

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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