Eagles 52 Bees 32

EASTBOURNE 52: Georgie Wood 11, Mark Baseby 10, Tom Brennan 9+1, Jason Edwards 8+3, Charlie Brooks 6+2, Charley Powell 5+2, Nick Laurence 3+2.

COVENTRY 32: Danny Ayres 12, Luke Ruddick 8, Luke Harris 6, Jamie Halder 4, Danny Phillips 2+2, Jamie Sealey 0, Jon Armstrong r/r.

Abandoned after Heat 14 (curfew/medical requirements) – Result stands

Eastbourne’s Georgie Wood was taken from the track in an ambulance tonight (August 25) after a horror crash on the first corner of the final race of the National League fixture against Coventry.

Wood was on the outside but lost control. As he went down, the visitors guest, Danny Ayres, had nowhere to go and ploughed straight over him.

Medical staff were concerned that Wood may have neck/back injuries and took precautions to keep him still before was properly checked in hospital.

The match was abandoned at that point with the Forman IT Eagles winning 52-32. The result stands and the three league points moves Eastbourne up to fifth place in the table with matches in hand on all the teams above them.

Captain Mark Baseby spoke for the whole team the he said everyone’s first thoughts were for Georgie.

“Best wishes go to Georgie. He is a great team member and a great team player.

“Hopefully, it is not too bad,” he said.

Looking at the overall result, Baseby said the team did the job they set out to do, which was to beat Coventry.

“In the end, it doesn’t matter how you beat them, you just have to beat them. 

“We won by 20 points tonight and again sent another statement out to the rest of the league.”

Eastbourne now face a rush of fixtures and ride at the Isle of Wight on Thursday, entertain Kent at Arlington on Saturday (September 1) and next day go to Mildenhall.

“Busy is good,” said Baseby. “We haven’t had that much track time and we have to build on this.

We have got the momentum going as we come to the crunch time of the season.

“We know what we have to do, we just have to finish it off.

“We have a plan in action but I cannot tell you all our secrets.”

The club’s commercial manager Ian Jordan said Georgie was complaining of neck pains.

“The crew at the track adopted a very sensible safety first attitude and called a fully equipped ambulance with full paramedic cover.

“Georgie was talking and explaining where the pain was and top work by the paramedics. Hopefully he will be OK.

“I have to commend Danny Ayres, he had nowhere to go and no blame can be attached to him at all, a pure accident, but the care and time he took helping Georgie was nothing short of magnificent in my humble opinion, a credit to speedway.

Here’s the Kevin Ling verdict on last night’s action.

Eastbourne ‘Forman IT’ Eagles secured a dominant 52-32 victory over the Coventry Bees at Arlington stadium on Saturday evening.

The win moved the Sussex side into fifth place in the National League table and with matches in hand over the teams above them it was one that puts pressure on the top four in pursuit of a coveted Play Off place.

The moment and the meeting was marred however by a worrying spill in the final race that eventually saw Eagles king-pin Georgie Wood taken to hospital as a precautionary measure, potentially suffering a neck injury.

With Wood having been the stand out rider for the hosts and with guest rider Danny Ayres having played a starring role for the Bees with four wins from his five outings, the heat was seen as a final showdown between the pair, each having enjoyed one success over the other.

The tapes arose and Wood appeared to have got the drop on his rival.

As the Eagle approached the second turn however, he lost control and spun around leaving the hard chasing Ayres nowhere to go and little option but to plough into him.

Worrying moments followed as Wood remained on the shale and as his condition was assessed, the ambulance was summoned to ferry him to hospital.

The win, though important to Eastbourne was now somewhat secondary in the minds of those in attendance given the unfortunate circumstances.

Reports this morning are far more encouraging – Georgie had no bones broken and was home, albeit nursing muscle damage.

The meeting had opened with back to back wins for the visitors, Ayres taking the honours ahead of Tom Brennan and Jason Edwards in the first, former Eagle Luke Harris outpacing the chasing Charlie Brooks in race two.

A brace of 5-1s quickly established home supremacy however and from there Eastbourne kicked on to win relatively comfortably in spite of Ayres efforts throughout the evening.

Skipper Mark Baseby and Charley Powell combined for the first of the two maximums, Luke Ruddick and Danny Phillips proving their unwitting victims.

A runaway win for Wood, with Brooks following on ahead of Ruddick in the fourth then opened up a 16-8 margin in favour of the hosts.

Ayres secured a second, controlled win in heat four as he got the better of both Baseby and Powell but it was the Eagles in the ascendency following the next as Brennan and Edwards united for maximum points at the expense of Jamie Halder.

The margin now 12-points, 24-12 and Wood continued to reign supreme with another runaway victory of his own. Ruddick and Phillips filled the minor places to ensure Eagles didn’t move further out of sight at that moment.

This they would do at the conclusion of heat eight, the wholly impressive Edwards leading the way with Brooks providing capable support as Eagles chalked up their fourth 5-1 of proceedings, one that would see them lead 32-16.

Overall victory in little doubt, the Bees did at least have a moment to celebrate in race nine, Ayres, taking the Rider Replacement outing in the absence of Jon Armstrong, romping to a third win.

This latest success was again at the expense of Baseby and with the lively Harris outgunning Powell this offered Coventry the 4-2, their one heat advantage of the evening.

Brennan and Edwards restored order with a fifth home 5-1 in the ten races so far run. This one saw Ruddick and Phillips play catch up but they were unable to prevent Eagles moving 39-21 to the good.

Heat eleven witnessed the first coming together of Wood and Ayres, both, as yet, unbeaten. With the pair almost touching as they sped towards the first turn this seemed to have a detrimental outcome so far as the latter’s machine was concerned and he duly pulled up on the run down the back straight.

With Wood wrapping up the win over Halder, reserve Nick Laurence (deputising for the unavailable Ethan Spiller) rode unchallenged for the odd point and the 4-2 that confirmed the home victory with the scores now standing at 43-23.

The teams exchanged wins in each of the next two, Baseby taking the honours for Eastbourne in the twelfth and Ayres doing likewise in the next but in each case the result remained shared.

Heat thirteen would prove incident a-plenty however and included a rare moment in the sport as the match referee reversed a decision.

Brennan was initially penalised for snagging the starting tapes but the official, having viewed the start level with the gate post had failed to notice that the tapes had risen unevenly. By the time that Co-Promoter Martin Dugard had dashed across the centre green with video evidence to substantiate the fact, the referee had had a chance to review the incident and duly call all four back under orders.

The race was further frustrated as the tapes failed to rise properly a second time. At the third time of asking it was Ayres who eased clear of the field thus inflicting a first defeat of the night on Wood with Brennan taking third.

Ruddick kept the flag flying for the visitors with a win ahead of Powell and Laurence in the penultimate race.

The anticipation remained largely for the final showdown between Wood and Ayres however but sadly that race wasn’t set to unfold as anyone had hoped.

Another unfortunate casualty of the incident was the Southern Development League match between Reading and Weymouth scheduled to take place following the main meeting.


Eagles: Georgie Wood 11(5), Mark Baseby 10(4), Tom Brennan 9+1(4), Jason Edwards 8+3(4), Charlie Brooks 6+2(4), Charley Powell 5+2(4), Nick Laurence 3+2(4). – 52

Bees: Danny Ayres (Guest for Connor Mountain) 12(5), Luke Ruddick 8(5), Luke Harris 6(6), Jamie Halder 4(5), Danny Phillips 2+2(5), Jamie Sealey (Guest for Ryan MacDonald) 0(3), Rider Replacement for Jon Armstrong. – 32