Eastbourne Speedway boss Trevor Geer wanted tougher opposition and he certainly got in on Saturday night at Arlington.
To his delight, the Lifestyle Eagles took another three league points as the riders upped their game to see off Leicester.
The previous two weeks, the challenge of Swindon and Coventry had been poor and Geer said his team needed a real test.
Leicester did that with Jason Doyle, Mads Kornieulssen and guest Rory Schlein taking the fight to the home team.
There was plenty of dirty on the circuit – I do love to see that – and that certainly helped the home riders who were prepared to chase out wide.
Big incident of the night came in the final race when Doyle came down under a close challenge from the Eagles’ captain, Cameron Woodward.
Woodward believes he and Doyle are in contention for the final place in Australia’s World Cup team so any race between the two is always fierce.
Woodward closed his compatriot down before making a move on the inside going into the third bend. Doyle went into the fence.
After what seemed like an age, Doyle was excluded as the cause of the stoppage.
Deciding who was at fault on any crash on the third bend of a speedway race has usually to be a “best guess” by the referee. It’s a long way away and when the rider on the outside goes down, you just cannot see if the rider on the inside took his leg away.
There are so many possibilities and the general rule is that the rider on the outside who falls is out.
That’s what happened on this occasion. I couldn’t see although I did overhear someone say he thought Woodward was lucky not to get the boot.
Last Monday’s away match at Belle Vue was rained off.
Tomorrow (Saturday, June 7) the Eagles entertain Belle Vue at Arlington. Woodward will be missing, taking part in a GP qualifying round, and Simon Gustafsson steps in. He’s on loan from Eastbourne to Swindon this year and sparkled when the Wiltshire club came to Sussex a couple of weeks ago.
Eagles see-off depleted Coventry in fine style - click here for story