Tonight (September 7): Eastbourne v Redcar, KO Cup semi-final, second leg, against Redcar Bears.
Last night Redcar forged a ten-point lead in the first leg at their Media Prime Arena to set up a humdinger of a match tonight.
Arlington Stadium gates open: 5.45pm. The action begins at 7.30pm.
Weather: The weather looks set fair with a dry day, late afternoon and evening predicted by our very own Met Office weather expert. She does though suggest wrapping up in something suitable for the slightly chillier, early autumn evenings we are now experiencing as the summer heat has passed.
Traffic: There are roadworks on the A271 between Magham Down and Lower Horsebridge.
Track shop special: The track shop (situated in the upper tier of the back straight grandstand) has a SIZZLING SALE OFFER with 20% off those Jackets, Hoodies; Beanies, Scarves and Caps that will be ideal for the forthcoming September matches and autumn ahead.
Bonus for regular supporters: Supporters who have kept their admission tickets from the last two home matches can claim a discounted admission for Saturday’s KO Cup semi-final, second leg, against Redcar at Arlington Stadium as part of the September Sizzler offer. Please click here to read all the details and conditions of this offer.
Have a cash alternative at the turnstiles: Internet connectivity has improved in the vicinity of Arlington Stadium but remains patchy at times. As a result, we ask that patrons brings a cash alternative to their credit/debit cards in case we lose 4G/3G coverage. Admission details here.
The Kevin Ling Preview:
The Knockout Cup hopes of both Eastbourne ‘Fineprint’ Eagles and the Redcar Bears hang tantalisingly in the balance as the two teams prepare to go head to head for the second time within the space of twenty four hours at Arlington stadium on Saturday evening (7.30 p.m. start time).
The first leg of their semi-final clash at the Media Prima Arena on Friday realised a 50-40 victory for the Bears.
Ten-points is now the difference between the two sides with fifteen heats of speedway action yet to come in the Sussex countryside. This is a margin that Redcar must defend if they are to accomplish their dream of a North Eastern showpiece final against bitter local rivals, the Newcastle Diamonds. Equally this is a figure that the Sussex club must successfully overturn of they are to reach their second competition Final in season 2019, their first back at Championship level.
Indeed if the racing on offer at Arlington is anywhere near as good as that witnessed on Teesside then the Sussex patrons and any Bears supporters making the long haul south will be in for a treat.
The first leg was hotly contested in superb spirit with all thirteen riders on show giving their all to try to secure the right result for their side. This included each team’s guest, Jake Allen of Scunthorpe for the Bears and Newcastle’s Danny Phillips who put in a fantastic shift for the Eagles in deputising for the injured Alfie Bowtell.
Needless to say Redcar would have preferred to track their talisman, British Champion Charles Wright. Wright crashed out of his side’s home match up with Somerset sustaining concussion. Such a condition means that the affected rider cannot return to action within a specified period and unfortunately for the Bears both Semi-Final matches against the Eagles falls within that time scale.
Though Wright is prevented from taken his place in the side the Bears management have chosen well in engaging the services of former Eagle Adam Ellis to ride at number one at Arlington.
Elsewhere they are able to name an unchanged side that served them so well in the league encounter in Sussex just two weeks ago. That occasion witnessed them going down to a 50-40 defeat, poignantly the same result and advantage with which they bring with them and need to protect from the first leg.
Erik Riss, newly crowned Championship League Riders Champion didn’t start the meeting so well, experiencing machinery misfortune last time out but finished it in spectacular style with wins in both heats thirteen and fifteen, eclipsing all three Eastbourne heat leaders Edward Kennett, Richard Lawson and Lewi Kerr in the process.
The German is in such great form of late and the Bears contingent will surely look to him to lead their offensive on this occasion.
Nonetheless they also possess a wholly impressive back up cast, one that is sure to pose questions of the Sussex side. Indeed Michael Palm Toft can hardly be considered in the ‘back up’ category and together with Riss and Ellis, the Bears stand in Captain forms a powerful looking heat leader trio and a triple threat to Eagles own Cup aspirations.
Jordan Stewart was bang back in form following a lean spell in the first leg and was deservedly named their ‘Man of the Meeting’. Dane Kasper Andersen also demonstrated a liking for the Arlington last time out and if he can display those tendencies again it will surely serve the visitors well.
Once again Redcar are set to track reserve duo Tom Woolley and Nathan Greaves, the latter in particular looked impressive on their last visit with a win in his first ride and scoring in all subsequent ones to amass a paid 9-point tally.
Eastbourne will again utilise the Rider Replacement facility in place of Georgie Wood, absent still serving a 28 day ban. This will inevitably place some pressure on the youthful shoulders of their own reserve pair Jason Edwards and Phillips.
They know however what Edwards is capable of and should Phillips be able to replicate the heart and sort of show he displayed at the Media Prima Arena then Eagles will surely be well served in that department.
Kyle Newman also has a huge role to play as chief support to Eastbourne’s three heat leaders. In superb form currently he is demonstrating just the sort of dash that alerted the Eagles management to consider him when looking for options to cover the injury loss of Tom Brennan earlier in the year.
All things considered, this meeting has the hall marks of another classic and potentially explosive Cup Semi-Final. Eastbourne have indeed enjoyed considerable success in respect of League titles however they remain highly regarded as a Cup side throughout the years.
Redcar are very much the team of the moment, a team in form and with Play Off progression well within their grasp they still harbour genuine double winning aspirations.
This contest is delicately poised and could easily go either way and the Eastbourne management will be hoping that the fans, both Eastbourne and Redcar turn out in force to cheer their respective teams on to victory making Saturday night at Arlington both a momentous and memorable occasion.
Teams: (in alphabetical order)
Eagles: Jason Edwards, Edward Kennett, Lewis Kerr, Richard Lawson, Kyle Newman, Danny Phillips (Guest for Alfie Bowtell), (Rider Replacement for) Georgie Wood.
Bears : Kasper Andersen, Adam Ellis (Guest for Charles Wright), Nathan Greaves, Michael Palm Toft, Erik Riss, Jordan Stewart, Tom Woolley.
Image credits: Mike Hinves