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Mildenhall Fen Tigers rider Josh Warren 'confident' he will put early-season struggles behind him

Josh Warren believes that it is only a matter of time before he returns to the level of form that made him a hit on track last season for the Mildenhall Fen Tigers.

It has proven to be a tricky start to the campaign for the 23-year-old, who has scored just 11 points – excluding bonuses – from his first three meetings this season.

The Peterborough-born rider endured another frustrating meeting for the Fen Tigers during the second leg of their National Development League (NDL) Knock Out Cup semi-final victory against Kent Royals on Sunday when scoring a paid five (3+2) total, which included two last place results.

Josh Warren with his regular mechanic Richie Hawkins, who is also the Ipswich Witches team manager. Picture: Mecha Morton
Josh Warren with his regular mechanic Richie Hawkins, who is also the Ipswich Witches team manager. Picture: Mecha Morton

However, despite suffering a tough start to the campaign, Warren is confident he can leave his early-season form behind and start firing in the big points again.

“It has been frustrating as you train hard all winter and spend hours in the workshop getting the bikes ready,” said Warren.

“No-one wants to go out there and not score any points. I think it has just been the lack of bike time on the track that is behind my form.

“I’m confident with more time on the bike I will pull through this period and get back to scoring the points I did last season.”

Mentally going through a temporary loss of form can be hard to cope with, but Warren is thankful for the support he has behind him – most notably from his regular mechanic, and current Ipswich Witches team manager, Ritchie Hawkins.

“I find it easy to forget the meetings once they have finished, but it can be during the meetings that I struggle if it isn’t going right,” said Warren.

“When you have got someone like Ritchie in the corner with you telling you to take a moment that really helps. People like Ritchie know what they are on about.

“I am confident that the Josh Warren of last year will be back scoring points sooner rather than later.”

The Fen Tigers stormed into the NDL Knock Out Cup final for the second season running after defeating the Royals 106-73 on aggregate following a resounding 60-29 victory in the second leg of their semi-final at Mildenhall Stadium at the weekend.

A flawless 15-point maximum from number one Alfie Bowtell was supported by paid maximums from captain Lee Complin (13+2) and Ben Trigger (10+2) as the Fen Tigers brushed aside a Royals outfit that failed to fire on all cylinders.

After winning the opening leg 46-44, the Fen Tigers soon found their stride, rattling up three 5-1s and a 4-2 to open up a nine-point lead on the day, and 11 overall, by the end of heat five.

With Nathan Ablitt withdrawing from the meeting after his second ride in heat six, the visitors saw their numbers further reduced after Joe Alcock called it a day following his second spill of the afternoon a race later to leave the Royals facing an uphill battle.

Back-to-back 5-1s fronted by Trigger in heat nine and Bowtell in heat 10 put the Fen Tigers on the brink of a spot in the final, which was secured by skipper Complin’s third, and final, win of the afternoon in heat 11.

Victory for Royals reserve Connor King in the penultimate heat prevented the Fen Tigers from rounding out the meeting with four successive 5-1s, however the fixture finished as it started for the West Row-based outfit with Bowtell producing another stylish display from the front in the finale.

“The team has clicked really well and it is great we have started the season with three wins from as many meetings. A massive shout out goes to everyone, but especially to Alfie and Lee,” said Warren.

“We are still winning without someone like myself firing on all cylinders which proves we should be in for a very good season when I do get back to form.”

The Fen Tigers’ scheduled NDL clash against the Royals at Iwade Stadium on Sunday has been postponed. The meeting will now take place on Sunday, August 20.


Mildenhall Fen Tigers 60 (106)

A Bowtell 15, J Warren 3+2, B Trigger 10+2, G Congreve 9, L Complin 13+2, W Richardson 4+1, A Butcher 6+2.

Kent Royals 29 (73)

B Morley 6, R Naylor 9+2, T Woolley 6, J Alcock 0 (withdrawn), N Ablitt 0 (withdrawn), S Woolley 1+1, C King 7.