Devils Lose Final In Race Off
The National Trophy Final saw the Midenhall Fen Tigers pull back the 18 point deficit from the first leg in a dramatic meeting at West Row to tie the scores at 90 each with the Plymouth Devils. The trophy was then decided in a run-off between a nominated rider from each side with home man Jon Armstrong holding off the determined challenge of Devils guest Josh Bailey .
There were several dramas in the meeting as both sides tried to gain an advantage . The Fen Tigers narrowed the overall lead of 18 down to 4 by heat 8 and although the Devils increased that to 8 after a 5-1 when Jordan Jenkins fell in heat 11. Then Henry Atkins was pipped on the line by Fen Tiger Jon Armstrong in heat 12 and a 4-2 brought the Devils lead overall down to six.
Guests Ben Morley and Josh Bailey then restored the lead to eight with two heats to go with Mildenhall needing two maximum 5-1 heat wins to draw the tie overall.
Henry Atkins then looped his bike in heat 14 going into turn one after making a good gate with bike almost catching Callum Walker and the 16 year old was excluded and in the re-run the home side snatched the first 5-1 they needed to make it just a four point lead going into the final race.
The final heat was a ding dong battle with the home duo of Jon Armstrong and Connor Mountain somehow holding off the inside and outside battles from Ben Morley and Josh Bailey . That meant the overall scorelines were tied at 90 each and a run-off for the title had to be staged.
Jon Armstrong lined up for the Home side and Josh Bailey for the Devils. The home man outgated his opponent but Bailey cut back and burst inside Armstrong and the two tussled for the lead with the Fen Tiger getting the advantage which he held on till the end to make Mildenhall the 2017 National Trophy winners.
Devils team boss Laurence Rogers was naturally disappointed at the eventual outcome , “ all credit to the Fen Tigers for their win but the boys all battled hard but it just wasn’t to be. We are proud we got there to the Final but to miss out on the title by the narrowest of margins of a run off was disappointment naturally.”
“Our guests did us proud and despite only having three Devils in the side they all gelled well and there was good team spirit. Adam Roynon , complete with a sling , made the trip to support, help and help motivate our patched up side but it just was not to be .”
NATIONAL TROPHY FINAL 2nd leg
MILDENHALL 54: Connor Mountain 14, Jon Armstrong 12+4, Drew Kemp 10+4, Anders Rowe 8, Jordan Jenkins 8, Alex Spooner 2, Dan Halsey r/r.
PLYMOUTH 36: Ben Morley 11, Josh Bailey 11, Henry Atkins 7+1, Richard Andrews 3+1, Jason Edwards 2, Callum Walker 2, Benji Compton r/r.
Aggregate score 90-90
Jon Armstrong (Mildenhall) beat Josh Bailey (Plymouth) in run-off for National Trophy.