Tigers draft in young Sheffield rider for cup clash

08:44 29 May 2012

Mildenhall Fen Tigers have drafted in Sheffield youngster Tom Woolley for tonight’s National Shield clash at Dudley on the recommendation of no less than legendary former World Champion Sam Ermolenko.

He stepped in to help after a day of frustration for the West Row management team, as they tried to line up a replacement for injured reserve Josh Bates.

Co-promoter Michael Lee said: “Our local lads, Niall Strudwick and Joe Graver, were both ruled out, so we had lined up Scunthorpe Saints’ Number 8 Max Clegg. We thought it had been agreed at the National League AGM that in an emergency any club could borrow another club’s Number 8, and so we booked Max.

“But on Monday afternoon, to our huge disappointment, the League’s co-ordinator Peter Morrish said we couldn’t use Max after all. We were surprised, but if the rule is now that you can’t borrow another Number 8 then we’ll obviously abide by that.”

Lee continued: “It did leave us with a headache though, and that’s when Sam came to the rescue. Chris (Louis) mentioned our problem to him when they met at Coventry for the Sky meeting against Birmingham. Sam reckoned Tom could do a job for us, so we are delighted to give him a chance. He has done well for the Sheffield Tiger Cubs, and has done some racing at Monmore Green as well. If we are lucky, Sam might even be on hand to give him some help!”

Lee added: “I am sure our supporters will get behind him and we’ll know he’ll do his best for us. We can’t ask anymore than that. We would also like to thank Dudley who are happy for Tom to ride for us.”

Meanwhile Mildenhall are looking for a short term replacement for 16-year-old Bates, who is likely to be out of action for a month.

“We are planning to get him to see Brian Simpson at Ipswich Hospital,” Lee said.

“The problem is that the tendons have come away from Josh’s collarbone. We hope that Mr Simpson will find a way to get him back into the saddle quickly, but I’ve already told Josh he will have to let the injury heal properly and not rush back. I know everyone will wish him well and we look forward to seeing him in a Fen Tigers racejacket again very soon.”

Mildenhall Fen Tigers:

1. Cameron Heeps

2. Joe Jacobs

3. Stefan Nielsen

4. Daniel Halsey

5. Lewis Blackbird (c)

6. Nathan Stoneman

7. Tom Woolley

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