Mission accomplished by the Eastbourne Eagles

Action from Friday night's match. Picture by Mike Hinves
Action from Friday night's match. Picture by Mike Hinves

Mission accomplished  . . . two matches in two days against Plymouth and seven league points in the Eastbourne Forman IT Eagles locker.

Team manager Connor Dugard set his team the target of maximum points against the West country outfit and the riders delivered.

After a stunning win at the St Boniface Arena on Friday night (April 10), Eastbourne handed out more of the same medicine on Saturday at Arlington Stadium.

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All the Eagles scored well, while Plymouth's scoring was built on 16 points for guest Ben Morley (in for the injured Ellis Perks) and ten from the former Eagle, Richie Andrews.

Eastbourne new boy Ethan Spiller won his debut Arlington race, having had a practice session earlier in the day while 15-year-old Jason Edwards was given an outing in the nominated riders' race by team manager Dugard.

Edwards, who rides at No 2, completed his programmed rides in heat ten and had to wait for four more races to be completed before being asked to go out in the final heat.

"I saw the pictures last night of the track while I was at Plymouth and it was under water. But it was all right tonight and it went really well," he said.

"Heat 15 is always hard because you have a rush of races and then you get to heat ten and you are done.

"I had four heats sitting round waiting and then Georgie [Wood] had a big locker [in heat 13] and Connor said 'do you want to go out'.

"I jumped on it and made a good start. It is a good learning experience in heat 15 because you are always against the better riders which is a good thing.

"When you ride against better riders you find yourself dragged along by them and you pick up little things so it was really good being in heat 15."

Spiller, who won his opening ride last night at Plymouth, was happy with his initial two matches.

He said: "I have enjoyed it very much. I have great people backing me up, obviously Connor Dugard and Martin. Without people like that it would not even be possible for me to be here.

"I found it a bit difficult at the beginning because the track is a bit different to what I am used to.

"I would have liked to have scored more points today but I am happy to be here.

"The tracks are smaller and more challenging and I believe at this stage of my career, that's what I need.

"As the tracks in England are a lot smaller you get a lot of first-bend bunching so that is good. It will 'harden me up'.

"I believe my gating has generally been good but sometimes people are just quicker and people have ridden tracks like this for virtually their whole life and I am pretty new to it.

"I am pretty happy that I can beat some people, although I have little experience on these tracks.

EASTBOURNE 54: Danny Ayres 11, Mark Baseby 11, Jason Edwards 9+4, Georgie Wood 9, Ethan Spiller 6+1, Charley Powell 4+1, Charlie Brooks 4+1.

PLYMOUTH 36: Ben Morley 16, Richard Andrews 10+1, Kelsey Dugard 5, Ryan Terry-Daley 4+1, Alex Spooner 1+1, Adam Sheppard 0, Henry Atkins r/r.

*Before the start of the meeting there was 30 seconds of silence in memory of Bob Dugard, followed by 30 seconds of applause. Riders, mechanics, track staff and officials stood on the centre green in front of the main grandstand.

*Eagles' No 1 Tom Brennan scored seven points in the U-19 European Final in Finland on Saturday afternoon (August 11). He recorded one win in his seven points.

A crash while leading in his final race put him out of the running. Tom was uninjured.

He was the only British rider to qualify for the final.