'Victory a must if Mildenhall Fen Tigers have National League title aspirations' says Kirk
Mildenhall Fen Tigers manager Phil Kirk insists victory is a must against the Stoke Potters on Saturday (7pm) if they have aspirations of winning the National League, writes Graham Clark.
The West Row-based outfit will head to Loomer Road in search of valuable league points after recording their biggest win in 15 years on Sunday with a 66-24 victory against the Isle of Wight Warriors, to make it eight wins from nine in all competitions this season.
Despite the Fen Tigers, who will be using rider replacement for the absent Dan Halsey, being in flying form, Kirk has stressed they must not take anything for granted against the Potters
“Some of our riders have not got great experience of the track there but with the way they are all riding and attacking every track I don’t think this will be any different and I will be expecting a victory there,” said Kirk.
“We respect Stoke and will not take them lightly but I do expect us to continue our winning run.
“We need to win at Stoke if we are serious about winning the league. In previous years we have fallen down in the league with the odd blip at home and not banking away points and this is meeting which we must do that.”
Fen Tigers captain Ryan Kinsley continued his recent hot streak after leading by example to top the scoring charts against the Warriors with a 12 point maximum from four rides.
Although the Fen Tigers were on the receiving end of a 4-2 in the opening heat which was fronted by guest number one Max Clegg the hosts quickly took charge of what was to turn into a one sided affair.
Drew Kemp and Matt Marson teamed up for what was to be the first of five 5-1s out of the next six heats for the hosts, a run only interrupted with Clegg splitting Kinsley and his partner Dan Halsey in heat five.
Teenage sensation Kemp showcased his talents after executing a stylish pass on Clegg in heat 11 to take a share of the spoils, before fellow reserve Matt Marson claimed his first paid maximum (9+3) when following home Halsey for the Fen Tigers seventh 5-1 of the meeting.
Having started on the backfoot the Fen Tigers wrapped up the meeting by reversing the 4-2 scoreline from the opener in the finale thanks to win number three of the meeting by Danny Ayers.
“I was over the moon with my display,” said Kinsley. “Something I’ve always lacked is confidence and before I’ve had my good spells and bad spells but with the crowd and team behind me it puts my head where I want it to be and it’s paying off.
“My second race against Max Clegg was my standout one and I had it in my head before the meeting I wanted that one.
“I gated well and and it worked out. I wanted to prove to people by winning that race that I’ve got the speed and ability.”
Mildenhall Fen Tigers 66: J Bailey 9, S Bebee 6+1, D Halsey 8+2, R Kinsley 12, D Ayers 11+1, D Kemp 10+2, M Marson 9+3.
Isle Of Wight Warriors 24: M Clegg (g) 10, D Verge 4+1, B Hopwood 5, C Widman 1, S Campos 3, C King 1, S Tedham 0.