Mildenhall boss Kevin Jolly upbeat after a season of ‘great entertainment’ at West Row
PUBLISHED: 18:15 29 October 2017 | UPDATED: 14:57 30 October 2017
Mildenhall 47 Eastbourne 43 Agg: 78-102
Mildenhall Fen Tigers lost on aggregate the National League KO Cup final against Eastbourne Eagles, at West Row this afternoon.
The west Suffolk side were always up against it after a crushing 59-31 defeat in the first leg on the south coast.
And with top stars Connor Mountain, Daniel Halsey and Jon Armstrong all missing through injury, it was a task made even harder to overturn a 28-point deficit.
Not that it wasn’t for the lack of trying and the Fen Tigers did win the second leg 47-43, mainly thanks to tremendous efforts from young guns Jordan Jenkins (15) and Drew Kemp (15+1).
The two teenagers were a delight to watch and early on, with Ben Hopwood, guesting for Mountain, racing to three 5-1 maximums with 15-year-old Kemp, there looked as though a shock may just be on the cards.
Indeed, after the pair raced to a heat 10 maximum, the Fen Tigers had halved the aggregate lead.
But it was always going to be too much to ask and when Georgie Wood and Jason Edwards hit the Eagles first maximum two heats later, it was meeting over.
Not that Mildenhall didn’t stop fighting. An excellent effort from Kevin Jolly’s charges and a fine season at West Row.
Indeed, Jolly said: “It was always going to be a difficult task after the first leg, but I felt our lads put on a first class show in the circumstances. No disrespect to our guests who did us proud but I feel sure if we had Connor (Mountain), Jon (Armstrong) and Danny (Halsey) fit this could have been another of those special afternoons at Mildenhall Speedway.
“Looking back on the season I think we have provided great entertainment for the supporters with many memorable meetings and some incredible comebacks.
“The performances of Jordan (Jenkins) and Drew (Kemp) today excited me, this is what the National League is about for me, talented youngsters coming into the sport and putting in afternoons like they did. We will have a well deserved rest now but will be back next season ready to challenge for silverware again.”
Fen Tigers scorers: B Hopwood 8+2, R/R, A Bowtell 6, L Ruddick 1+1, J Jenkins 15, A Spooner 2+1, D Kemp 15+1.
Meanwhile in the second meeting of today’s double header, Mildenhall ran out comfortable winners 53-37 against the Isle of Wight Warriors in the final speedway meeting of the 2017 season.
Jenkins continued his super afternoon’s work, with five more heat victories and the home side had the meeting in the bag by the end of heat 11.
The victory also meant that the Fen Tigers ended the season in fifth place in the National League table and just a point off the play-offs. A fine league season from a very young Mildenhall team, who have produced some terrific results this 2017 season.
On Friday night, the Fen Tigers had been thrashed 64-26 at Plymouth with a scratch side in a league clash, Jenkins was the only Tiger to win a heat.