Mildenhall Fen Tigers rider eyeing up title challenge after win at Belle Vue Colts
Sam Bebee believes the Mildenhall Fen Tigers can go on and win the National Development League title after the club delivered what he described as their “performance of the season” on Friday with a 51-39 victory at Belle Vue Colts.
The Feltwell-based rider, who was standing in as captain for Jordan Jenkins, feels the West Row-based outfit can secure speedway’s third tier prize for the first time since 2012 after taking all four points on offer at the National Speedway Stadium.
Helping the Fen Tigers secure their first away win of the campaign was a paid 14 total (13+1) from guest number one Kyle Bickley, deputising for Jenkins, who was on Championship duty with Redcar Bears, and a 10-point haul from Jason Edwards.
Bebee said: “It was an honour to have the armband. There was a good buzz around us tonight. We have got the ball well and truly rolling now and we just need to carry this on to the next meeting and score more big points like tonight.
“It was definitely our best performance to come away and get such a good win like this. It was a brilliant display as we had a bit of a tough start.
“We have now clicked and I think if we can carry this through for the rest of the season we can hopefully go and win the league."
After sharing the opening heat thanks to the first of three victories for Bickley the Fen Tigers edged ahead with a 4-2 courtesy of Elliot Kelly and Luke Muff in heat two.
Parity was restored in heat four as Jack Smith spearheaded a 4-2 for the hosts, before the Fen Tigers thanks to Bickley and Bebee edged ahead again a race later.
The visitors didn't lead for long as Harry McGurk and Jack Parkinson-Blackburn closed out another 4-2 for the Colts to leave the scores all square at 18-18 at the end of heat six.
Once again the pendulum swung back in favour of the Colts as Parkinson-Blackburn went from playing a supporting role to being a race winner in heat eight when fronting a 4-2.
The meeting was then turned on its head as the Fen Tigers raced to back-to-back 5-1s to open up an advantage they would hold on until the end of the meeting.
Edwards and an inspired Muff, who was riding for the club as an unattached rider following his release by the club earlier in the week, teamed up for the first, before Sam Hagon and Luke Ruddick repeated the feat to put the Fen Tigers six points up.
What followed was arguably the race of the meeting as Bickley and Smith traded passes before the former got the verdict ahead of Hagon and a fired up Muff taking a 4-2 in heat 12.
With the bit between their teeth the Fen Tigers secured the meeting with two races to spare as Edwards and Bickley raced to the visitors third 5-1 ahead of Ruddick ending his meeting with a win when securing a 4-2 with Kelly in the penultimate contest.
Although Smith secured a 4-2 heat advantage for the Colts in the finale it was too little too late as the damage had already been done by the Fen Tigers.
Bebee, who scored three points, said: “I feel like I rode well but just not scoring the points at the moment. If I carry on riding how I am riding the points will come.
“It was a huge team effort tonight though and it really showed on track. Kyle Bickley was a great guest and he helped us a lot with getting the right setups as he has ridden here a lot.
“Luke Ruddick and Luke Muff both did well but all the boys smashed it really.”
Belle Vue Colts 39: Harry McGurk 6+1, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn 4, Connor Coles 5, Sam McGurk 3+1, Jack Smith 12, Paul Bowen 7+1, Saw Wooley 2.
Mildenhall Fen Tigers 51: Kyle Bickley (g) 13+1, Sam Bebee 3, Sam Hagon 8, Luke Ruddick 9+2, Jason Edwards 10, Elliot Kelly 4, Luke Muff 4+1