Eastbourne 48, Mildenhall 42: Eagles gain a measure of revenge

Mark Baseby, Eastbourne v Mildenhall. Picture by Mike Hinves
Mark Baseby, Eastbourne v Mildenhall. Picture by Mike Hinves
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Eastbourne gained a measure of revenge on Saturday for the thumping they received at Mildenhall last month.

They beat the Suffolk outfit 48-42 at Arlington in the National Trophy, someway short of the 61-29 victory the Fen Tigers ran up at their West Row track.

The IT First Eagles were in control throughout this meeting, although they could not break their visitors and also run up a big score.

A couple of 4-2s to Mildenhall in the final heats were enough to secure them a losing bonus point which puts them in control of the National Trophy group, which also contains Kent.

Team manager Connor Dugard said: “It could have better, I am not going to lie but did ride well.

“We had some bad luck but at the same time so did Mildenhall.”

He pointed to when Danno Verge touched the tapes the visitors brought in their prodigious young reserve, Jordan Jenkins.

“That definitely strengthened them but that’s the same as us with Tom Brennan at reserve.

“I look forward to the league fixture back at Mildenhall now that we are starting to get dialled in."

He said a big plus point was the way the team all helped each other in the pits.

“We got the job done at the end of the day and I think the fans have now seen what Mark Baseby is capable of,” Dugard said.

In the final race of the night Baseby took the victory on the line by inches as he burst past Dan Halsey on the run to the chequered flag when right up against the safety fence.

“He is a fantastic rider. It has taken him a few meetings to get set up, and he said that, and now are cooking on gas,” Dugard said.

Eagles’ Matt Bates was riding a new bike, supplied by the club. The first time he had tried it on track was in heat three, which he won.

Bates said: “I was riding a new bike tonight.

“The Dugards have been kind enough to put one together for me. It’s a bit different my one but it is good. I felt a lot more stable on the bike.

“I am very fortunate to have people wanting to do that for me.

“My gating still needs some work. I have to take it a meeting at a time. Everyone is buzzing in the team which is good.

EASTBOURNE 48: Mark Baseby 13+1, Tom Brennan 11, Matt Bates 8+1, Georgie Wood 7, Kelsey Dugard 4, Connor Coles 3+1, Charley Powell 2.

MILDENHALL 42: Jordan Jenkins 13+1, Connor Mountain 8+1, Danny Halsey 8, Jon Armstrong 6+1, Luke Ruddick 3+1, Danno Verge 2+1, Sam Woods 2.