Eagles face Hammers home and away on Good Friday

Eastbourne Lifestyle Eagles face home and away matches on Good Friday against their nearest rivals, the Lakeside Hammers.

The away fixture starts at 1pm at the Hammers’ Essex track, which is only a mile or two from the Dartford crossing, near the Lakeside shopping centre, with the return at Arlington getting under way at 7.45pm.

The club’s headline sponsor, Lifestyle Europe, is again sponsoring an Easter Egg giveaway at Arlington. The first 100 children through the turnstiles will receive a wrapped Cadbury’s egg.

The two matches in a day means seven Elite League points are up for grabs.

Eastbourne co-promoter and team manager Trevor Geer said: “There’s no doubt it is going to be a busy day for both sets of riders and we are aiming for the lion’s share of the points to get our league campaign off to a flying start.

“That’s what happened in 2011 when we finished runners-up in the league but, as we all know, it was a different story last year as we lost both matches. We must not allow that to happen again.”

With both teams at full strength, Geer is expecting two cracking matches.

“It takes not much longer than an hour to drive between the two tracks and over the years there have been many links between the two clubs. The rivalry is strong and we are determined to stamp our authority on the proceedings.”

One example of the links is that for the Eagles, Adam Shields is riding on loan from Lakeside while Lewis Bridger moved on loan in the opposite direction during the winter.

The home match does not get under way until 7.45pm, giving fans who go to Lakeside a little extra time to get to Arlington.

Co-promoter Mike Bellerby said: “This traditional Good Friday clash is eagerly awaited by both sets of fans and none more so than this year because these will be the matches that get our season started.”

Rain led to the postponement of the planned curtain-raiser at Arlington, the league clash against Belle Vue on Saturday.

The call off came on Saturday morning after a track inspection by senior Eastbourne promoter, Bob Dugard. “Bob said the track was the wettest he had ever seen it,” Bellerby said.

“It was disappointing, especially in view of all the hard work that has gone in pre-season but there was no alternative,” Bellerby added.

Lifestyle Europe will bring two or three cars from their vast stock to each home meeting at Arlington for display near to the turnstiles. Bellerby said: “Lifestyle supremo Peter Isted has guaranteed that these cars will be priced at truly unbeatable costs.

“So, if you are contemplating a change of transport, have a word with the Lifestyle boys.”

Roadworks: There should be no problems with gaining access to Arlington Road West from the A22. The junction has re-opened.

Fixture change: The Lifestyle Eagles now go to Coventry on Friday, May 10.