Mildenhall Fen Tigers captain Danny Ayres confident of win over Plymouth Gladiators despite his absence
Danny Ayres expects the Mildenhall Fen Tigers to make it three straight victories in the National League in his absence against the Plymouth Gladiators on Sunday (3pm), writes Graham Clark.
With Ayres on Championship duty for the Scunthorpe Scorpions, the Fen Tigers will draft in Ben Morley as a guest at number one along with recalling Macaulay Leek in reserve in place of the injured Elliot Kelly for the clash.
After backing up their 53-37 victory over the Stoke Potters with a 48-42 success over the Leicester Lion Cubs last Sunday the Fen Tigers will attempt to move four points clear of the Gladiators who are currently rooted to the foot of the table.
“I can’t see why we won’t beat Plymouth and I 100 per cent expect a massive win out of them,” said Ayres. “I’m gutted I won’t be here but the boys have got a good guest in.
“A few weeks ago I probably wouldn’t have been as confident but I feel Jason Edwards is really starting to put a shift in and Charlie Brooks is now coming to the party.
“With Charlie it is all about his head and just trying to get inside it and on Sunday you could not have asked for any better.Henry Atkins has come in and has put in some solid displays.”
Like he has done all season Ayres once again led by example against the Lion Cubs dropping just one point from five rides as the Fen Tigers overcome a slow start before turning in one of their most impressive displays of the season.
A 5-1 fronted by Charlie Brooks and Jason Edwards started the Fen Tigers fightback in heat five before Ayres raised the roof with a last lap swoop around Danyon Hume a race later to spearhead a 4-2 with Matt Marson and draw the sides level.
The hosts moved into the lead for the first time with Marson, after being pushed all the way by Joe Thompson, going from support act to race winner in heat eight with race partner William O’Keefe grabbing the all important third place.
After securing a 4-2 in heat six, Ayres and Marson teamed up to even better effect to secure a 5-1 in heat 10 to further stretch the Fen Tigers’ advantage.
Although the Lion Cubs struck back with a 5-1 on their own through Ellis Perks and tactical substitute Hume in the next contest a 4-2 from Ayres and Atkins in heat 13 moved the Fen Tigers closer to victory.
The win was secured in style with Brooks grabbing his second victory of the afternoon when producing a smart pass around the outside of Joe Thompson on the last lap of the penultimate heat.
“It was a terrific performance especially after they found themselves four points down on two occasions,” said Malcolm Vasey, team manager. “I think everyone in the top five performed to an exceptionally high level and I was really pleased with all of them.”