Plymouth can't stop Eastbourne Eagles soaring to speedway victory
Eastbourne cruised to victory over Plymouth at Arlington Stadium on Saturday after turning up the gas after the half-way stage.
The pivotal moment came in heat 11 as the Devon side deployed former Eagle Bjarne Pedersen as a tactical substitute alongside guest No 1, Michael Palm Toft, who was unbeaten at that stage. With the scores standing at 34-26 to the HG Aerospace Eagles, a 5-1 to the visitors would have signalled ‘game on’.
Home captain Lewi Kerr was having none of it as he raced into the lead and kept the two visitors behind him by riding a fast line inches from the fence. That was ‘game over’ for Plymouth.
In the following race Hailsham’s finest teamed up for a 5-1 with Edward Kennett leading the way from Nathan Ablitt, who was making his home debut at Championship level.
Tom Brennan, who left immediately after the meeting to ride for Great Britain in Germany the following day, then turned the screw with a spectacular win from the back in heat 14, followed by a stunning ride to win heat 15 – and with teammate Richard Lawson in tow it was a maximum heat win for the Eagles, with the final score resting at Eastbourne 54, Plymouth 36.
The start of the meeting was delayed by nearly 45 minutes because of problems with the starting gate caused by a blown electricity transformer. And there was a further delay when the tractor used to grade the track bashed the safety fence.
Eastbourne co-promoter Trevor Geer, said the starting gate had been tested prior to the meeting and had worked perfectly. “The problem was down to a burnt out transformer. It was nobody’s fault. They were working perfectly this afternoon. If we had known that and it couldn’t be fixed, we would have gone on the green light at 7.30pm.
“We had so much going wrong with the tapes not working and having to start off the green light and then the fence problem. We got through in the end. “All the boys rode brilliantly tonight, especially Nathan Ablitt who got stuck in and showed us what he can do.
“You could see his confidence grow as the meeting went on. It was brilliant to watch. Tom Brennan surprised me. He looked as if he had gone up to another level tonight. He was sitting on the back of the bike and fighting it like you see on the TV with Bartosz Zmarzlik [World Champion] in Grand Prix racing.
“Tom has gone to another level. It was brilliant. He was going through gaps which were almost non-existent between the Plymouth riders and the fence.”
Scorers: Eastbourne 54: Tom Brennan 13, Richard Lawson 12+2, Lewis Kerr 9, Kyle Newman 6+2, Edward Kennett 6+2, Nathan Ablitt 5+1, Jake Knight 3.
Plymouth: 36: Bjarne Pedersen 10, Michael Palm Toft 9, Zane Keleher 6+1, Alfie Bowtell 6, Zach Cook 3, Connor Coles 1+1, Dillon Ruml 1.
Eastbourne are next in action on Tuesday at Kent, who have been strengthened by the signing of Troy Batchelor