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Heathens 52 Mildenhall 41 (Heathens win 98-88 on aggregate)
10:46pm Tuesday 29th May 2012 in Sport
DUDLEY Heathens claimed their first silverware of the season as they beat Mildenhall in the National Shield.
The hosts went into tonight’s second leg trailing by a single point but overhauled the deficit to win 98-88 on aggregate, after some thrilling racing at Monmore Green.
Victories in the opening seven heats, including three 5-1s, catapulted the Heathens into a 29-13 lead.
Mildenhall fought back strongly in the second half but the hosts held their nerve to seal victory and retain the trophy they won last year.
If recent wins over Buxton and King’s Lynn were perhaps a little low on thrills thanks to the Heathens dominance, the same claim could not be made tonight.
It was all action from the moment the tapes went up in heat one, with Mildenhall’s Joe Jacobs making an early exit with a wrist injury after falling and setting up an unavoidable collision with James White-Williams.
The Heathens were on fire, with Darryl Ritching’s flying past Nathan Stoneman on the final lap to claim heat two and Tom Perry fighting back after a poor start to win heat three.
Things looked bleaker for the Tigers soon after when Dan Greenwood snatched second behind Ashley Morris in heat four, following a titanic battle with Lewis Blackbird. Byron Bekker and Perry then combined to shut out Cameron Heeps as the visitors took their first tactical ride.
Mildenhall stemmed the flow in the next couple of races but only began to gain a foothold in proceedings in heat eight, when Stoneman pushed things to the limit to beat Greenwood and claim a victory on a tactical ride.
The Heathens were not helped when skipper Adam Roynon put the first blemish on his record by crashing out in heat ten after a mistake saw him passed by Stefan Nielsen.
But though they closed within eight points on aggregate, the visitors just simply couldn’t get their men across the line first and their fate was sealed in the penultimate race, when a last corner error by Dan Halsey allowed Bekker and Ritchings to steal through and seal the win.
DUDLEY 52: Adam Roynon 11, Tom Perry 10+1, Ashley Morris 9, Byron Bekker 8+1, Darryl Ritchings 6+1, Dan Greenwood 5+1, James White Williams 3+1
MILDENHALL 41: Nathan Stoneman 13, Cameron Heeps 10, Stefan Nielsen 10, Lewis Blackbird 4+3, Daniel Halsey 4+2, Tom Woolley 0, Joe Jacobs 0
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