Mildenhall Fen Tigers
Team Manager: Malcolm Vasey
|1. Jason Edwards||3||3||3||1||2*||12||1|
|2. Sam Bebee||1||2*||1||4||1|
|3. Elliot Kelly||0||3||2||2||7||0|
|4. Luke Ruddick||2||1||1*||3||7||1|
|5. Jordan Jenkins||3||1||3||3||3||13||0|
|6. Sam Hagon||FD||0||3||0||1||4||0|
|7. Luke Muff||3||0||0||3||0|
Team Manager: Alan Budzynski
|1. Nathan Greaves||FD||FD||2||2||1||5||0|
|2. Gregor Millar||2||2||2||F||6||0|
|3. Danny Phillips||3||2*||2||3||0||10||1|
|4. George Rothery||1||3||FD||2||6||0|
|5. Tom Woolley||2||FD||3||0||5||0|
|6. Sam Woolley||2||1||0||1||4||0|
|7. Lewis Millar||1*||1*||1*||0||3||3|
The Stellar Devils eventually went down 50-39 in the National Development League at Mildenhall this afternoon, after a hotly-contested and eventful meeting. There were numerous reruns and fallers (no injuries thankfully) especially in the early stages, on a track affected by rain and a banger meeting.
The track staff did well though and things did eventually settle down. Devils' team boss Alan Budzynski said "I thought we were unlucky not to come away with something. Several times we were well placed in heats which were stopped and didn't do so well in the restart.
"The track was pretty slippery at the start. I was pleased to see George Rothery have his best meeting for a while, and Gregor Millar is certainly making progress."
The Devils might have gone even closer but for a difficult afternoon suffered by no. 1 Nathan Greaves. He led heat 1 down the back straight but fell going in to the third bend. He fell again in his next ride then picked up 5 points from his last three heats, losing second place in the final heat on the last corner.
He's coming back from a couple of crashes but both his teams need Nathan to regain his pre-injury form and confidence as soon as he can.
Danny Phillips had a productive afternoon and was the Devils' first race winner in heat 3. Fen Tigers were six points up after six heats but then Devils took advantage of a tape touch by Jordon Jenkins (who went off 15 metres) to record a 5-1 from the lively Rothery backed up by Phillips.
A couple of shared heats followed, heat 9 being the first win of the day for Tom Woolley. Mildenhall extended their lead with a heat 10 4-2 then added another point when Jenkins beat Greaves in a two-man finish to heat 11. Both Sam Hagon and Gregor Millar were fallers.
The Devils maintained their challenge as Phillips won again in heat 12, and Sam Woolley took an important point.
Greaves managed to split the strong pair of Edwards and Jenkins in heat 13, leaving Devils trailing by 5 with two races left. An over-eager George Rothery caught the tapes with his helmet and had to ride off 15 metres in heat 14, storming through to second place, but the win for ex-Monarch Luke Ruddick clinched three points for the homesters.
Devils needed an advantage from the final heat to take a point. That was obviously going to be tough against Jenkins and Edwards and although Greaves held second for most of the race, he gave way on the last lap to concede what was only the second 5-1 of the day by the Fen Tigers.
The Stellar Devils are back on track Sunday afternoon as they make the trek to deepest Suffolk to take on Mildenhall in a tough looking fixture.
It's been over 6 weeks since the Devils took to track if you discount the aborted Leicester meeting and with only Nathan Greaves and Archie Freeman (who misses this fixture) riding elsewhere regularly it will be good for the youngsters to blow off the cobwebs.
It has to be said though that the Fen Tigers may be no better placed in regards to race readiness this being only their 2nd home fixture and 4th fixture overall.
Malcolm Vasey's men are the only stand alone team in the division and many tipped them for honours at the start of the season. It's been an up and down campaign so far though with a draw at Leicester and point at Berwick being coupled with a home defeat to Kent.
The strength of the Fen Tigers is undoubtedly at the top end where Championship experienced Jason Edwards, Jordan Jenkins and Luke Ruddick lead the way.
Main backup comes from Sam Bebee and Elliot Kelly with the former a real key man his 7 point haul in that Kent fixture showing his strength.
Like Muff and Sam Hagon sit in the reserve positions Hagon one of the revelations of the division so far this year with double digit returns at Berwick and Leicester to his name.
For the Devils there is one change to the usual line-up as mentioned previously Archie Freeman misses out due to Newcastle commitments Sam Woolley stepping in.
Nathan Greaves will lead the way with the recent injury woes meaning a confidence boosting big score would be more than welcome.
Danny Phillips and Tom Woolley will provide the backup with both looking to keep up their solid scoring so far this season.
George Rothery is of course the wildcard in the Devils team and a big afternoon for the Cumbrian will go a long way to propelling the Devils towards any glory they can achieve.
Tapes up is 3pm with live updates available on the Devils website