Eagles aim to go large

Raceday update:

Weather: set fair. We’ve had a sunny morning in East Sussex. Cloud is building but the forecast shows an extremely low risk of any rain – if there is any, they will be light showers and be quickly over. That all adds up to: No worries about the weather.

Tonight’s action:

Racing will start at 7pm with the National League match against Stoke. Once that is over, there will be some track prep and then it’s on with the NL match against the Isle of Wight.


For adults, it is £23, including a free programme (while available); 13 to 17 years old – £9; twelve and under – FREE.

Parking is also free.

Team News: As the Forman IT Eagles are using rider replacement, Rhys Laker will be our No 8.

As usual, our man Kevin Ling reads the runes ahead of the action.

It will be crunch time for the Eastbourne ‘Forman IT’ Eagles at Arlington Stadium tonight as they face not just one but two opponents in the quest for National League points.

With the end of season Play Offs looming in the coming few weeks, and a number of teams still in the running to qualify, every point is now becoming vital.

Eastbourne are set to take on the Stoke Potters, and then following swiftly on, they are due to face the Isle of Wight Warriors.

Given the home dominance that the Eagles tend to enjoy, one might be forgiven for thinking that two wins are assured, however the sport of speedway is known for throwing up surprises.

For the Sussex men however, they know that no less than a maximum haul of six-points is essential if they are to maintain and augment their Play Off aspirations.

In such situations, that added pressure can lead to the occasional slip up and with Eastbourne heading into action missing the talents of both Charley Powell and skipper Mark Baseby (absent due to a pre-booked holiday) anything is possible.

The Eagles will operate the Rider Replacement facility in place of Baseby while Kelsey Dugard makes his return to the Eagles ranks as a guest in place of Powell.

The club management will of course have every faith in those who remain to face both the Potters and the Warriors and will be confident that the minimum requirement of 6-points from the two clashes will be achieved.

They are unlikely to have things all their own way however as former National League Riders’ Champion Max Clegg is set to lead not only his own team, Stoke, but also the Isle of Wight (for whom he guests in place of Ben Morley) into action.

With fellow Play Off contenders Coventry and Birmingham going in search of points at Buxton’s Hi-Edge Raceway tomorrow, the Bees also have a double header of their own featuring Mildenhall and Buxton at their current Leicester base on Monday night.

With near neighbours the Kent Kings also heading to the Peak District to take on the Hitmen next weekend they will likely feel assured of picking up points of their own.

With the unlikelihood of Eastbourne fitting in their own visits to Stoke and Buxton ahead of the Play Off cut off point, both fixtures having fallen foul of the weather last Saturday and Sunday, this places added importance on both of tonight’s matches and next weekend’s match up against strong title favourites and the as yet undefeated (in the League) Mildenhall Fen Tigers.   

Teams: (in alphabetical order)

Eagles: Rider Replacement for Mark Baseby, Tom Brennan, Charlie Brooks, Kelsey Dugard (Guest for Charley Powell), Jason Edwards, Rhys Laker (No 8), Ethan Spiller, Georgie Wood.

Potters: Paul Burnett, Arran Butcher, Max Clegg, Adam Extance, Rider Replacement for Rob Shuttleworth, Danno Verge (Guest for Tony Atkin), David Wallinger.

Warriors: Jamie Bursill, Scott Campos, Max Clegg (Guest for Alfie Bowtell), Nathan Stoneman (Guest for Ben Morley), Shaun Tedham, Danno Verge, Chris Widman.