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Mildenhall Fen Tigers head to Oxford Chargers as National Development League leaders after victory over Belle Vue Colts

Josh Warren has warned that the Mildenhall Fen Tigers must be on their game if they are to forge further clear at the top of the National Development League and complete a double over Oxford Chargers on Tuesday (7.30pm).

After racing to an impressive 49-41 victory over Workington Comets at Northside on Saturday, the West Row-based outfit moved to the top of table on Sunday after defeating Belle Vue Colts 47-43 at Mildenhall Stadium.

However, the Fen Tigers’ in-form reserve believes that they will need to put in a better performance against the Chargers, having almost let a 12-point lead slip against Belle Vue before edging the verdict.

Action from Mildenhall Fen Tigers' win over Belle Vue Colts. Picture: Derek Leader
Action from Mildenhall Fen Tigers' win over Belle Vue Colts. Picture: Derek Leader

“I think we have got the mentality to beat anyone as we showed when we beat Workington on Saturday,” said Warren.

“Oxford are a very good side at home. I think every one of us will be vital and every one of us has got to be scoring points.

"We need to hit them hard from the off and avoid picking up any last places.

Action from Mildenhall Fen Tigers' win over Belle Vue Colts. Picture: Derek Leader
Action from Mildenhall Fen Tigers' win over Belle Vue Colts. Picture: Derek Leader

“A few of the lads had bike problems today but we really have got to be on our game if we want to win down there.”

Having lost 52-38 to the Colts at the National Speedway Stadium last month, the Fen Tigers were keen to exact revenge. However, their cause got off to an inauspicious start after suffering an opening heat 4-2 reversal courtesy of Matt Marson and Sam Hagon.

Parity was restored in the next heat with Warren, winning his first of two races on the day, teaming up with William Richardson to secure a 4-2 of their own before George Congreve and Ben Trigger raced to a 5-1 in heat three to give the hosts some daylight.

The one-way traffic continued with the Fen Tigers securing back-to-back 4-2s featuring wins for Warren and Trigger ahead of Alfie Bowtell and Arran Butcher teaming up for a 5-1 in heat six to put the Fen Tigers into a commanding 12-point lead.

The tide soon turned, however, and having looked in a good position to wrestle back the aggregate bonus point on offer the focus then turned on simply winning the meeting as the Colts clawed their way back into the contest in determined fashion.

A 4-2 fronted back Jack Smith in heat seven was swiftly followed by a 5-1 courtesy of former Fen Tigers stars Luke Muff and Marson in heat eight ahead of 4-2s led home by Smith and Marson in heats 10 and 11 to leave the gap between the two sides down to two points.

It looked as though the scores would be levelled in heat 12 with the Colts sitting on a 4-2 before a sweeping move from Warren around Muff on the final lap ensured the Fen Tigers secured a share of the spoils.

Having had a slow afternoon by his high standards due to ignition problems, Bowtell roared to glory in heat 13 with club captain Lee Complin, who himself had bike troubles with a faulty valve, backing him up in third to give the Fen Tigers a four point lead at a crucial stage.

With the spoils shared in the penultimate heat it meant only a 5-1 in the finale was going to be enough for the visitors to force a super heat between the two sides.

For a brief moment that result looked on the cards with the impressive Smith and team-mate Marson sitting on that exact scoreline. However, both Bowtell and Complin managed to force their way past Marson to pack out the placings behind Smith to secure a vital 3-3 and with it the victory to put Fen Tigers fans nerves to rest.

“When there was dirt on the track they weren’t great but once the track slickens off here it is such a leveller and everyone can ride it,” said Warren.

“They started making good starts which helped them a lot. Obviously we wanted to win by 15 points to get the bonus point but that didn’t happen but I think we knew we could beat them.

“As for me, speedway is all about confidence. Everything is the same on my bike but for some reason I feel much better on it now as my scores have shown.”

- Scores

- Workington Comets 41: C Bailey 10, A Pijper 8+3, S McGurk 5, H McGurk 1+1, L Crang 4, L Harrison 12+1, E Kelly 1.

- Mildenhall Fen Tigers 49: A Bowtell 13, A Butcher 2, B Trigger 9+1, G Congreve 5, L Complin 11+3, W Richardson 1+1, J Warren 8+1.

- Mildenhall Fen Tigers 47: A Bowtell 10. A Butcher 4+1, B Triigger 9+1, G Congreve 6+2, L Complin 7+1, W Richardson 1 J Warren 10+1.

- Belle Vue Colts 43: S Hagon 4, M Marson 8+1, J Smith 12, F Hodder 6, J Pearson 8, P Bowen 0, L Muff 5.