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Fen Tigers storm into final

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The Mildenhall Fen Tigers took another step towards what they hope will be a trophy-laden season on Monday evening by wrapping up a convincing aggregate win over Kent Kings in the National League Play-Off semi-finals.

Fen Tigers
Fen Tigers

The West Row side made the trip down to Kent holding a commanding 61-29 advantage from Friday’s first leg at the Mildenhall Stadium.

And, while the second leg was a much closer affair, the Fen Tigers still came out on top 46-44 to wrap up an overall 107-73 triumph and secure their place in the final for the first time since 2012.

It was a result that extended the Fen Tigers’ winning run in all competitions to 20 meetings – 10 at home and 10 away.

“The job was pretty much done on Friday,” said team manager Phil Kirk, whose side will face either Eastbourne Eagles or Coventry Bees (date TBC).

“It was probably our best collective performance of the season.

“Kent did not know how to deal with us and we really put them to the sword.

“On Monday it was much tighter but we went about it in a professional manner because the lads really wanted to keep the winning run going.”

The Fen Tigers’ positive sequence is all the more impressive when factoring in the injury problems they have endured in recent weeks.

Danny Ayres has been ruled out for the season, while the likes of Jordan Jenkins and Josh Bailey have had stints on the sidelines.

Riders such as Ben Morley and Max Clegg have filled in at different times as guests, and more often than not have delivered the goods.

“We have put a lot of hard work into finding the right guests,” added Kirk.

“Of course you want someone that is going to score points, but we need more than that.

“This is a young team that is pushing forward, so we need to bring in the type of characters that will buy into our team ethos.

“Thankfully we have made the right call more often than not.”

One rider that could come back into contention for Sunday’s home contest against Birmingham is Bailey, who has passed the 28-day resting period after suffering concussion.

He was due to have a test out on the track this week and providing he suffered no ill effects from that outing, the youngster is set to return.

“We have had some good guests but it is always better to go with your own team,” said Kirk.

“All of the lads are capable of taking on a ride for Danny (Ayres). It keeps up that spirit and togetherness. Having Josh back involved with the team would be great.”