Mildenhall Fen Tigers' Luke Ruddick ready to seize his big moment in number one ride against Belle Vue Colts
Luke Ruddick admits he feels proud to be given the chance to take on the coveted Mildenhall Fen Tigers number one jacket for the first time in his career against the Belle Vue Colts tomorrow (3pm).
Following a change in the averages, Ruddick move to the top of the team for the visit of the Colts to Mildenhall Stadium in place of Jason Edwards, who along with Jordan Jenkins will be given a new figure later in the month, once he has completed four meetings.
Although Ruddick is yet to hit double figures in his previous two home meetings this season he hopes that can all change at the weekend when taking up the main heat leader berth.
“It definitely is a big moment for me, “ said Ruddick.
“Mildenhall are like my home town club as that is where I started and it is where I want to be riding and being number one for them is something I’ve always wanted to do.
“I’m definitely proud of it and even though it will only be for one meeting I’d like to end up doing it again and it has given me plenty of motivation.
“I feel like I’ve been under-achieving this year which I think is down to a lack of meetings and track time.
“There is no rider in the league that I haven’t beaten at some point before so there is no reason why I can’t do a good job at number one this weekend.”
Despite the West Row-based outfit having to use the rider replacement facility for Edwards, who will be on Championship duty with the Plymouth Gladiators, Ruddick believes they still have enough firepower to see off a Colts side that features former Fen Tigers rider Connor Coles at reserve.
He added: “It makes a difference them having Connor Coles at reserve as he is a former Fen Tigers rider that rides the track well.
“It won’t be easy for sure but I definitely think we are strong enough to beat them.
“We shouldn’t have lost our first home meeting to Kent and I will be very disappointed if we don’t win every meeting at home for the rest of the season.”
A 13-point haul by Fen Tigers’ captain Jenkins supported by a paid 13 (12+1) for Edwards helped the Fen Tigers move off the foot of the National Development League table with a 50-39 victory in a closely-fought meeting with the Armadale Devils last Sunday.
Holding a three point advantage at the end of heat 12, the Fen Tigers, who had earlier seen Elliot Kelly and Luke Muff claim their first wins of the year in heats two and five respectively, stamped their authority on the meeting with successive 4-2s from Jenkins and Edwards, then Ruddick and Sam Hagon.
It was a case of saving the best until last, however, with Jenkins putting in another stylish performance up front where he was followed home by Edwards who got the better of an entertaining tussle with Devils number one Nathan Greaves.
“Victory has been a long time coming for us and I feel like we have been riding better than what we have got, but we have made a few silly mistakes and lost a few points here and there,” said Ruddick.
“Heat 15 at the weekend was great to watch. Jordan has been most impressive this season.
“He has just been different with his focus and preparation and that had been missing over the last few years.
“He is definitely on the right track now and he just keeps improving.”
Mildenhall Fen Tigers 50: Jason Edwards 12+1, Sam Bebee 4+1, Elliot Kelly 7, Luke Ruddick 7+1, Jordan Jenkins 13, Sam Hagon 4, Luke Muff 3.
Armadale Devils 39: Nathan Greaves 5, Gregor Millar 6, Danny Phillips 10+1, George Rothery 6, Tom Woolley 5, Sam Woolley 4, Lewis Millar 3+3.