Mildenhall through to KO Cup final as Witches head to Peterborough on Sunday, also in cup final action
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Belle Vue Colts 51 Mildenhall Fen Tigers 39 Agg: 88-93
Mildenhall Fen Tigers staged a dramatic comeback in Manchester tonight to beat Belle Vue Colts and reach the National League KO Cup final.
Leading by 16 points from the first leg, the Fen Tigers’ lead was almost wiped out by the end of heat five as the Colts threw everything at their Suffolk visitors from the off.
Three 5-1 maximums in those first five heats saw the Colts just a point behind Mildenhall on aggregate and the West Row club seemed dead and buried.
However, they regained their composure and when Jon Armstrong gated to victory in heat six, it gave the Fen Tigers confidence as they settled into the meeting.
But the Colts were still looking strong and when Ben Hopwood and Rob Shuttleworth gained a 4-2 advantage in heat nine, the Colts were not only well ahead on the night, but ahead on aggregate too.
A 5-1 maximum to the home team put them five points ahead on aggregate and there seemed no way back for a Fen Tigers team who had only won one heat in the first 10 races.
But no-one told Connor Mountain or Drew Kemp that.
The two teenagers won the next four heats between them, with Kemp linking up with Jordan Jenkins in heat 12 to gain a crucial 5-1 to put Mildenhall back in the lead, by a point, on aggregate. Mountain won heat 13 and Kemp heat 14, with Luke Ruddick battling hard for third place to put the West Row club three points up with one race to go.
In the final heat Armstrong and Mountain gated and although Richard Hall split the pair, Armstrong’s win was enough to see Mildenhall through to the final, where they will meet Eastbourne.
Mildenhall: Mountain 11, Jenkins 6+1, Ruddick 2, Armstrong 10, Spooner 2, Kemp 8+1.
Meanwhile Ipswich Witches will travel to Peterborough tomorrow afternoon in the first leg of the Championship KO Cup final, start time 5pm. The second leg is at Foxhall on Thursday.
Ipswich welcome back both Rory Schlein and Kyle Newman into the team.
Ipswich: D King, R/R, C Heeps, K Newman, R Schlein, N Greaves, C Mountain.