Thursday August 31, 2017
This Sunday sees the Hitmen one step closer to completing a forgettable 2017 National League campaign but Manage Jason Pipe remains hopeful his side can avoid the wooden spoon this term.

‘I'm really looking forward to this meeting. It's our penultimate away meeting of the season and one we need to be looking at getting something out of, if we are serious about getting ourselves off the bottom of this league table and there's no reason why we can't if all the lads ride to their capabilities. Make no mistake, Mildenhall are a very good home side and very hard to beat around their West Row bowl, but Kent proved recently that a team can go there and win this season! From what I've seen and read of the Fen Tigers, they have a few riders who can be inconsistent like some of our own lads. So I think on Sunday it will be a case of getting the riders to just have a little think what their job is and exactly what is expected from them. If we can get that somewhere near and have that little bit of luck go our way, then you just never know what surprise score line it might throw up! Some may say I shouldn't be putting any pressure on the riders. But this league is far too serious and competitive now and some pressure has to be applied at times on the riders, otherwise they'll be pushed all over and well beaten This league is no longer a development league, only in name only, which has been unfortunately allowed to happen.

We are taking a decent side to their place on Sunday and I can imagine one or two people will be worried about us. It's really pleasing to have Matt and Max in the side as this makes a big difference and spurs the rest of our lads on. The damage these two riders can do between them on their day is frightening. If we have the right Matt and Max turn up and Tom can back them up with 6 or 7 points and the rest chip in with just a few points each, then this meeting could be a lot closer than people are imagining!

This meeting also sees the return of fans favourite Shelby Rutherford to our side, who is back in our team as part of the mutual agreement that saw Jamie Halder released from our 1-7. Shelby is so looking forward to Sunday coming around and being a part of our team again. There's not much pressure on him from me, other than I'd like him to go in to each meeting with a positive mind and look to be picking up a target of 3-4 points and set himself that target, which I know he's very much capable of doing. Anything more than that would be a big bonus to him and the team. He has been given another opportunity here to show what he can do and knows many eyes will now be on him, seeing what he can do. The ball is well and truly in his court now. It's a shame it didn't work out for him at Cradley, but a new chapter and a great opportunity starts again for him on Sunday.’

And despite an earlier Press Release Pipe has more changes to the team to announce

‘The club were rocked by more bad news on Tuesday afternoon. I received a phone call from Phil Woodhull, the father of Ben, who rang to tell me that Ben was stopping riding Speedway for the foreseeable future! Ben has just stopped enjoying racing Speedway and his head isn't right to go out on track with other riders in this very strong and very competitive National League. He's also taken one or two knocks recently and that hasn't helped neither has been on the wrong end of some bizarre exclusions recently. Ben may feel differently in a couple of weeks or so, but in the meantime, we have to accept his decision and we thank him for being part of the team in recent weeks in the meantime we will be keeping Ben in our declared 1-7 because the cut off deadline for transfers to be in and registered has passed and we will cover for Ben in our remaining meetings with a 3.00 point unattached rider. After clarification, I have a verbal agreement in place with Jamie Halder and his Dad Shaun, that Jamie will be that rider to cover for Ben. Had i been told about Ben 24 hours earlier then I could have left Jamie in our 1-7 and at reserve instead of Ben. But by this time, it was too late for us to change our 1-7 again because this has to be done on August 28th to be in effect 3 days later. Jamie's average changes to a 3.00 from September 1st, which is why he is now available to guest for other clubs. Which is great for him and he will benefit from all these extra end of season meetings at reserve and more time on the bike after only starting his 2017 season on July 14th.’

1 Connor Mountain 2 Luke Ruddick 3 Jon Armstrong 4 Jordan Jenkins 5 Dan Halsey 6 Alex Spooner
7 Danno Verge

1 Matt Williamson 2 Shelby Rutherford 3 Ryan Kinsley4 Tom Woolley (c) 5 Max Clegg 6 Lee Geary
7 Jamie Halder (G)