Sunday September 16, 2018
CRADLEY team boss Will Pottinger admitted he was “extremely proud” of his side as they went down with a fight in the National Trophy final.

The Heathens were facing almost Mission Impossible at Mildenhall after losing the first leg at home by 12 points last week.

It was no surprise that the Fen Tigers completed the double with a 49-41 win but Pottinger’s lads made the home side battle all the way.

Pottinger said: “It was always going to be the impossible job for the boys. Mildenhall are undoubtedly the team of the year and deservedly so.

“The 12-point deficit was a mountain to climb but after going 18-6 down after just four heats the the destination of the trophy was never in doubt.

“But we kept fighting and I was delighted with the spirit. I’m extremely proud of how they dug in and we actually won the second half of the meeting.

“I can’t remember the last time to run Mildenhall so close at their place. We kept it down to eight points and the 5-1 in the last race was an excellent way to finish our season.

“We were also missing a lot of our regular boys which made it even harder, but everyone really got stuck in today.

“Nathan Stoneman was a brilliant guest with paid 16 while Tom Brennan rode so hard for just six points, he deserved so much more.

“It was another tough days for us but I think we go away with our head’s held high after an excellent performance all round.”

The Heathens were 27-9 down after just six heats and it looked as if Mildenhall were going to run up a cricket score.

But Stoneman and Brennan hit back with a 4-2 over wonderkid Drew Kemp in Heat 7 and the mini-fightback began.

Alfie Bowtell and Stoneman also teamed up for two late 5-1s to restore some pride to the scoreline as the Heathens went down in style.

MILDENHALL 49: Ben Morley 9+1, Jordan Jenkins 9, Drew Kemp 9, Ryan Kinsley 7+1, Matt Marson 7+1, Sam Bebee 6+2, Josh Bailey 2.

CRADLEY 41: Nathan Stoneman 14+2, Alfie Bowtell 10+1, Jason Edwards 7, Tom Brennan 6+1, Richard Andrews 3+1, James Chattin 1, Ellis Perks r/r.
Mildenhall win 100-80 on aggregate.

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