Date with Destiny

A date with destiny awaits the Eastbourne Forman IT Eagles.

They head to Mildenhall tomorrow (Thursday, October 25)  in a bid to win the National League for the first time.

A first leg lead of 19 points was established in the Play Off Grand Final at Arlington Stadium on Sunday.

The Eagles are well aware that the Suffolk club, known as the Fen Tigers, have carried all before them this year at their West Row circuit in the shadow of the USAF base at Mildenhall.

Most commentators reckon the title could go either way, with the opening heats vital to both sides’ chances.

The two clubs met in the KO Cup final and at one stage the Fen Tigers threatened to run away with the tie. Eastbourne put in a strong recovery in the later stages of the first leg to only lose by 52-28 – a deficit they overcame in the home leg.

Eastbourne captain Mark Baseby said the Eagles will be aiming to attack from the off in the second leg of the Play Off final to try and get control of the match.

He said: “We have a 19-point lead. We know what we have to do and we are going there to attack.”

Team boss Connor Dugard said: “It’s only half-time, and it’s not over. 

“Mildenhall are a very good team at West Row and have a good team with the inclusion of Nathan Stoneman as a guest.

We need to get 36 points and that, of course, is a reachable target.

“We want to get off to a better start than we have previously at their track. 

“But, there has only been one team to beat them all year in a two-legged match and that’s the Forman IT Eagles.”

Thursday night’s match will conclude the league championship.

However, Eastbourne still have three matches to complete in the regular league season, all of which were postponed earlier in the year.

On Friday night at Arlington they entertain Mildenhall (8pm start) and on Sunday go to Buxton in the afternoon and Stoke in the evening.

Eastbourne: Georgie Wood, Jason Edwards, Mark Baseby, Ethan Spiller, Tom Brennan, Charley Brooks, Charlie Powell.

Mildenhall (for West Row match):  Drew Kemp, Jordan Jenkins R/R, Josh Bailey, Ryan Kinsley, Nathan Stoneman, Matt Marson, Sam Bebee.