Track and trace just the start of Eastbourne Eagles' problems
Eastbourne Speedway’s troubled week got worse on Saturday night – much worse.
First, Drew Kemp pulled out of the match against Edinburgh at Arlington Stadium at lunchtime because he had been “pinged’ by Covid-19 track and trace and has to isolate for ten days.
Eastbourne moved swiftly to draft in Alfie Bowtell, a former Eagle, as a guest replacement for Kemp. Throughout the match, the HG Aerospace Eagles struggled to keep on terms with their opponents but managed to take it to a last-heat decider, as they had done in their opening match of the season against Poole.
On that occasion, the Eagles pulled off victory and it looked as if a repeat was on the cards as the fans cheered Richard Lawson and Kyle Newman to a seeming 5-1 which would have seen the Eagles home and dry by two points. But it was not to be.
While Lawson was in clear air at the front, Newman was second and doing more than enough to hold off the opponents. However, disaster struck as the riders went into the third lap and Newman’s bike came to a halt, gifting the visitors a 3-3 to clinch the match by two points (44-46).
It left the rider distraught, the home fans stunned and Eastbourne team manager Trevor Geer disappointed. He said: “I was so disappointed for the team but more so for Kyle. He put his heart and soul into that race and he was so up for it. He had been riding well all night and he had a brilliant line in that race. He was cruelly robbed there. I don’t think the Edinburgh boys would have been able to do anything about him.”
Geer said the Eagles were on the back foot throughout the meeting because the visitors were making the better starts. “We were having to come from behind for the whole meeting. We should have pulled it off in that last heat as we did with Poole but it was not to be. It is early days in the league and now we need some points on the road. We can do it, we are good enough.”
EASTBOURNE 44: Richard Lawson 16, Kyle Newman 10+2, Tom Brennan 8, Alfie Bowtell 5+2, Edward Kennett 3+1, Jason Edwards 2+1, Lewis Kerr r/r.
EDINBURGH 46: Sam Masters 13, Josh Pickering 12+1, Richie Worrall 7, Kye Thomson 5+2, Nathan Greaves 5+1, Joe Lawlor 4, William Lawson 0.