Mildenhall Fen Tigers crowned champions of Knock-Out Cup despite losing first leg to Leicester Lion Clubs
There turned out to be a pot of silver at the end of the rainbow for Mildenhall Fen Tigers with the news today that they are 2023 National Development League Knock-Out Cup (KOC) winners after Leicester Lion Cubs agreed to forfeit the second leg.
Called off four times due to the inclement weather making their track unsafe for racing, the East Midlands club had finally reached the end of the road after their inability to get the meeting on this weekend just gone.
With the official end of the Speedway season on October 31, and so no time to attempt another staging, the decision has been made to forfeit which means a win for the DJS Fen Tigers.
After the trials and tribulations of the protracted cup final saga, it’s a very happy ending of the long season - especially as Mildenhall actually won their semi-final in this competition incredibly all the way back in April.
Now the riders and fans can look forward to seeing the KOC trophy presented, along with medals, to the team members at the end of season party on November 11.
Team Manager Jason Gardner is understandably very happy at the outcome.
He said: “On a personal basis, I am over the moon to have a winners’ medal in my first sole season as Team Manager, but more importantly really pleased for the club, the volunteers and supporters that we have the KOC back in the West Row trophy cabinet.
“It's also a reward for missing out on both titles last season. Of course it's a shame that we didn't win on the track but that was out of our hands.”
The cup win makes Speedway history as it’s a record fifth victory in this competition for the Suffolk club – the last being back in 2012.
The Mildenhall management in a statement said: “Whilst it is great for the club to win another trophy, obviously it is not the way we would have wished.
“Hopefully this situation will see the sport take a serious look at speedway taking place in October and look in future to finish the important competitions by the end of September, leaving the final month of the season for clubs to run individuals/open meetings should they wish to.
“As a club we would like to dedicate the trophy to our supporters, sponsors, officials and staff.
“It is well documented that before this season there was a real danger of us not being able to run, but due to the generosity and backing from many people we have made it to the end of 2023.
“Hopefully this is a fitting reward for them and we look forward to seeing as many of them as possible at our end of season presentation evening where we hope to have the cup and to present medals to the team.”