Eagles lose by 12 at Sheffield

Eastbourne fell to a 51-39 defeat against The Sheffield Tigers at Owlerton Stadium this afternoon. Danny King notched up a 15 point maximum for the Tigers in the Championship clash, whilst Richard Lawson top scored for The Eagles with 14, backed by Lewi Kerr with 10.

The Eagles joint Team Manager Will Pottinger commented after the meeting.

“We kept the score fairly close throughout which was a positive. “

“Rich (Lawson) was excellent and was well backed up with heat wins by Lewi (Kerr), plus Alfie (Bowtell) got stuck in and deserved his points. “

“10 last places was ultimately the reason why we didn’t claim a League point. If we were racing against Sheffield on aggregate, then we’d be confident about pulling back 12 points at Arlington.”

Here’s how the action unfolded from our reporter Kevin Ling. A detailed overview to follow.

Heat 1 King (r) Kemp (b) Kennett (w) Morley (y) eagles in 2 and 4

Tigers make it a winning opening as King posts an all the way win in the first race – Ed Kennett has him in his sights throughout but couldn’t make it stick – drew kemp holds a comfortable third over Ben for an opening 4-2 to the hosts – time 61.01

Heat 2 Zaine Kennedy (r) Josh MacDonald (b) Alfie Bowtell (w) Georgie Wood (y)

A second 4-2 goes the way of the tigers who now lead 8-4 – good gate from Alfie who led down the back straight but MacDonald rode around him on the run in to lap two – Kennedy remained close at hand with Georgie not far adrift but the order didn’t change thereafter 4-2 8-4 time 60.02 almost a second faster than kings in heat one

Heat 3: Ty Proctor (r) MacDonald (r/r) (b) Kyle Newman (w) Lewi Kerr (y)

MacDonald certainly seems the man in form for the tigers but he didn’t have the wheels to out do Lewi Kerr who flew past down the outside on the back straight – Lewi rode home for a superb win from MacDonald with proctor keeping Kyle at bay for a share of the spoils 3-3 11-7 time 61.80

Heat 4 Kyle Howarth (r) MacDonald (b) Richard Lawson (w) Georgie Wood (y)

Flying win for super Richard Lawson who led from gate to chequered flag – Richard at a canter ahead of Howarth with MacDonald taking his third ride in succession doing well to stave off the attentions of the hard chasing Georgie wood – nevertheless a 3-3 it remains 14-10 progressively and a winning time of 61.01

Heat 5 – Proctor (r) Kennedy (r/r) (b) Kennett (w) Morley (y)

This time it’s an all the way win for the fast starting Proctor – Kennett keeps the tiger in his sights but seldom looked likely to get on terms – Kennedy (taking the r/r) executed a determined drive in the early part to seize third from Ben Morley and that is how it stayed with a third 4-2 going the way of the hosts 18-12 time 60.91

Heat 6 King (r) Kemp (b) Lawson (w) Bowtell (y)

King leads from the off – Richard mounts a firm challenge on the run down the back straight and looks set to come through on the inside heading into turn 3 – king withstands the challenge however and holds on for the win – behind them Alfie looking good for third as he led Kemp by a distance but the final bend saw the home rider drive round the outside and steal the point by inches on the line – it appeared he might have done more harm than good as he binned his bike on turn 2 – Kemp remained on track for a time and looked in some discomfort but now up and walking back to the pits 4-2 22-14 time 61.01

Heat 7 Howarth (r) Kennedy (b) Newman (w) Kerr (y)

Good race but a winning one for Howarth – Lewi holds second throughout but a ding dong battle ensues for third between Kennedy and Newman – the pair trade places a couple of times but it’s the wild and woolly efforts of the home reserve that wins through and he holds on to the line 4-2 (yes another) 26-16 time 62.15

Heat 8 Kemp (r) MacDonald (b) Morley (w) Bowtell (y)

Misfortune for tigers as the inform MacDonald sheds a chain and doesn’t make it from the start line – kemp (mounted on his second bike) takes the wide line and looks to be in difficulties coming out of turn two but he straightens it up and continues for the win – Bowtell giving it a good go but couldn’t land a blow – Ben not looking too happy back in third 3-3 29-19 time 63.43

Heat 9 Proctor (r) Kennedy (r/r) (b) Lawson (w) Wood (y)

Another great win for Richard and another moment of misfortune hits the tigers effectively gifting eagles first heat advantage of the evening – Kennedy holding a comfortable second with Proctor and Wood playing catch up – back straight the final time around sees Kennedy also shed a chain handing the 4-2 to the visitors – welcome nonetheless 2-4 31-23 time 61.56

Heat 10 King (r) Kemp (b) Newman (w) Kerr (y)

There would be no catching King who blazes away to secure his third win in as many rides – behind him Kerr and Newman combine to fill the minor places ahead of the chasing kemp for the 3-3 that keeps the difference at 8-points 34-26 time 61.85

Heat 11 Howarth (r) Kennedy (b) Kennett (w) Lawson (t/S) (y)

Lawson t/S replacing Morley

Another fine race and another race win for the flying Lawson – eagles lead and looking good for the 5-1 but Howarth works hard to round Kennett and get the better of him not once but twice as the pair battled for second 2-4 36-30 time 62.25

Track grading now taking place as the meeting moves into the interval stage – eagles only 6- points adrift still and fingers crossed remain hopeful for a match point

Heat 12 Proctor (r) MacDonald (b) Newman (w) Bowtell (y)

Commentators curse for which I humbly apologise as 4-2 goes the way of the tigers – they look good for 5-1 as proctor and MacDonald lead but the latter loses control on the tail end of lap three and hits the fence heading into the final lap – this allows Newman to race through and seize second place this limiting the damage to a 4-2 in favour of the hosts 40-32 time 62.64

Heat 13 King (r) Howarth (b) Kennett (w) Lawson (y)

King gets the drop and indeed has too much firepower for Lawson – Howarth and Kennett again duel gamely but the home man looks to have it in the bag before Ed pulls up on the third lap home 4-2 effectively hands Sheffield the match with the score now standing at 44-34 with two heats remaining time 60.98

Heat 14 MacDonald (r) Kennedy (b) Kerr (w) Bowtell (y)

All the way win for Lewi from Kennedy and Brucie bonus for eagles comes in the shape of Alfie snatching third from MacDonald on the line following a determined surge in the run in to the chequered flag a 2-4 in favour of the Sussex side one that narrows the margin to 8-points 46-38 time 62.89

Heat 15 Howarth (r) King (b) Kerr (w) Lawson (y) Tigers take gates 1 and 3

Tigers have banked the win but the possibility of a match point still not out of reach – in order to do it eagles need a heat advantage and will have to lower the colours of king for the first time

In the event it proved a case of nice try but no cigar -,king completes an unbeaten 15-point maximum in some style and indeed the tigers would bank the first 5-1 of proceedings as Howarth followed on in seconds ahead of Richard and Lewi respectively 5-1 51-39 time 60.78


Sheffield Tigers

King 15(5) Howarth 10+1(5) Proctor 9+1(4) MacDonald 7+1(6) kemp 5(4) Kennedy 5(6) Nicol rider replacement – 51

Eastbourne Eagles

Lawson 14(6) Kerr 10(5) Kennett 5(4) Bowtell 5(5) Newman 3+1(4) Morley 1+1(3) Wood 1(3) – 39

Image Credit: Mike Hinves