OXFORD Chargers’ play-off hopes took a significant hit as Mildenhall Fen Tigers triumphed 51-39 at Sandy Lane.

There was little to choose between the teams all night and the hosts were just two points down going into the final three heats.

But Mildenhall ended with two 5-1s and a 4-2 to blow the National Development League play-off race wide open.

The Suffolk team are now only two points behind fourth-place Chargers with a meeting in hand, making Sunday’s return fixture even more crucial.

The home side had to operate rider replacement in Nathan Stoneman’s absence, while Mildenhall did the same for Sam Bebee.

After a shared first heat, Jacob Clouting and Aaran Butcher secured a 4-2 in the next race to give Chargers a slight advantage.

Jack Kingston and Alex Spooner responded with a 5-1 for Mildenhall and they remained in front until the midway point of the meeting.

Chargers went into heat eight 23-19 down, only for Henry Atkins and Clouting to seal a 5-1 and draw the hosts level.

Mildenhall regained the lead with a 4-2 in the ninth, but Atkins and Ben Morley bagged another 5-1 in race ten as Kingston and Spooner both fell.

Chargers could not stay in front as Jason Edwards won heat 11 from Sam Woods to earn the visitors another 5-1 and nudge them into a 34-32 advantage.

A shared 12th race kept Chargers in the hunt, but then it started to unravel.

Morley’s slow start in heat 13 allowed guest rider Max Clegg and Edwards to secure a 5-1 and they sealed victory with a 4-2 in the 14th.

Sam Hagon fell in the final race as Mildenhall ended on a 5-1 to take the maximum four points back to Suffolk.

Sunday’s meeting at the Mildenhall Stadium starts at 3pm.


OXFORD 39: Henry Atkins 12, Jacob Clouting 8+2, Jody Scott 7+2, Sam Hagon 6, Ben Morley 4+3, Arran Butcher 2, Nathan Stoneman r/r.

MILDENHALL 51: Max Clegg 15, Jason Edwards 13+2, Jack Kingston 9, Alex Spooner 8+1, Sam Woods 3+1, Josh Warren 3, Sam Bebee r/r.

NDL points: Oxford 0, Mildenhall 4.