Covid restrictions bring disappointment for Eastboune speedway aces

Eastbourne Speedway’s rider availability problems for Saturday’s tricky home match against Edinburgh have unexpectedly eased.

Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 8:00 am
Tom Brennan / Picture: Mike Hinves

However, the silver lining for the HG Aerospace Eagles managers is bad news for two of the club’s teenage tornados.

In-form Tom Brennan and Drew Kemp were due to miss the Arlington meeting because they were riding in an Under-21 World Championship semi-final in Germany but late on Monday (June 7) found their trip was off because of Covid restrictions.

Broken collarbone victim Lewi Kerr will definitely miss the meeting against Edinburgh who are one of the most successful clubs this century in the sport’s middle tier, having won five league titles already.

Drew Kemp in action against Kent for the Eagles / Picture: Mike Hinves

The Scottish capital city club have already thrown down a marker this year by beating Newcastle home and away in the KO Cup.

Eastbourne co-promoters Lee Kilby and Trevor Geer were battling to fill the gaps in their team when news about Brennan and Kemp came through.

Kilby said Edinburgh would be a stern test. “I think they bring great opposition. It will be really exciting. We won’t get four 5-1s on the spin against them like we did against Kent on Sunday, I’m sure of that,” he said.

Geer said the Covid travel-related problems was a silver lining for the Eagles but a bitter blow for the two young riders.

“We were closing on some good solutions for Saturday’s match but it is so much better to have your own riders, especially with Tom and Drew looking so good against Kent.

“Having said that, my heart goes out to the two lads. Their shot at world under-21 glory this year has been snatched away from them at virtually the last minute.

“You have to feel for them in such circumstances.”

Tickets for the match are now available from the club website and the message is don’t leave it too late to buy like around 100 people have done for the opening two fixtures at Arlington.

Tickets are available until sold out ,or until midnight on Friday (whichever is sooner), to comply with council ticketing regulations.

There is no walk-up on-the-day ticket sales by cash or card and no online match tickets will be available for the clash with Edinburgh on match day itself.

Tickets for the National Development League match against Kent Royals will go on sale from Sunday, June 13.

The difficulties with Brennan and Kemp going to Germany come to light in an email from the German Federation late on Monday evening.

It said there were no guarantees that the riders and support teams travelling to Gustrow for Saturday’s FIM World Under-21 qualifier would have exemptions from having to self-isolate for a period of ten days on their arrival in Germany.

As a result, the Young Lions management made the “heartbreaking” decision to withdraw Tom Brennan and Drew Kemp from the qualifier.