The Eastbourne Fineprint Eagles take on the Birmingham Brummies this evening at Arlington stadium in the final fixture of the 2019 Season. Gates open at 5.45pm (pay by cash or card) with the first 200 people receiving a free Holly Blue Pub voucher for use in November. The meeting parade will start at 7.15pm prompt with tapes up at 7.30pm.
Weather: The latest weather forecast from our weather expert is that it will a dry and sunny afternoon. As mentioned on our social channels yesterday, the track Arlington is in excellent condition and packed down hard to enable it to withstand any over night / early hours rain.
Traffic: No serious delays have been reported.
Team News: No changes have been notified.
Post Meeting: We will have the usual end-of-season farewell for our regular Riders. They will chat to the crowd from the Centre Green immediately after the meeting, followed by a “Meet the Riders” Press Conference in the Club House approx 15 minutes after the meeting ends where riders and management will be available for about 20-30 minutes to answer questions about 2019 and look ahead to 2020. The club will also be auctioning signed Rider pit boards at this time.
The Kevin Ling Meeting Preview:
Eastbourne ‘Fineprint’ Eagles are set to come to tapes for the final time in Season 2019 as they return to Arlington Stadium on Saturday evening with a 7.30 p.m. start time.
The Sussex speedway squad bring down the curtain on their first season back at Championship level very much in the way they started it with a visit, this time for league points, of the Birmingham Brummies.
Like Eagles, the Midland outfit also made the step up to the next tier of racing to take on a fresh challenge after many seasons spent in the National League.
At the start of the campaign it was the Southern club who arguably enjoyed the better of fortunes, Eastbourne winning that first match up by a convincing 52-38 margin and from there they proceeded to qualify for the latter stages of the Championship Shield – and ultimately an appearance in the Final against the Leicester Lions – courtesy of a 53-37 victory in the return at Perry Barr.
The Eagles also enjoyed further success against their Midland adversaries by ejecting them from the Knockout Cup at the first hurdle, a 57-32 triumph in their home leg being sufficient to see them through in spite of the Brummies gaining a measure of revenge with a 50-40 win back on home shale in the second.
As far as the league table is concerned it is the men from Perry Barr who drew first blood with a 51-39 victory as Eastbourne made their third visit to the venue in the early part of August. That is where both now find themselves as they prepare to go head to head for the sixth and final time at Arlington this weekend.
Both teams would undoubtedly agree that elevation to the Championship stage has proved a huge leap to take but each will inevitably draw positives from their first season back at the higher level and ultimately would conclude that the move was worth making with both already having declared their intention to compete at a similar level next term.
The Eagles have certainly enjoyed their moments, a semi-final appearance in the Knockout Cup and a Championship Shield final appearance proving a highlight alongside a positive and sustained run of form around their home circuit.
Victory against the Brummies would lift them above the Edinburgh Monarchs in the league standings and would ensure that they finish ahead of both the Newcastle Diamonds and the Brummies in the final reckoning.
While Eastbourne sport a similar side to the one that started the campaign, the two amendments being the one forced upon them as Tom Brennan suffered a season ending leg break in the early weeks to be replaced by Kyle Newman, who ironically had previously ridden for Birmingham and also the mid-season switch that saw Jason Edwards make his return at the expense of Ben Morley.
Of course further injury has blighted them with Alfie Bowtell having sustained a knee injury during Eagles solitary travelling league success at Newcastle, his place is taken by Connor Coles on Saturday.
Another unfortunate absence will be that of Richard Lawson who will be doing duty for Premiership club the Ipswich Witches as they take on the Poole Pirates in the top flight Play Off Semi-Final second leg at Foxhall Heath the same night. Lawson’s place will be covered by guest Nick Morris of Somerset and his presence will enable Eagles supporters to pay homage and give thanks for the huge part that he played as a resident guest (in place of Edward Kennett) on Eagles Northern tour, which culminated in that victory at Brough Park back in August.
Elsewhere Georgie Wood also makes his return to the side having been forced to sit out of Eagles recent Cup and Shield action.
The Brummies are a much changed team from the one that first took to the Arlington shale back in April with Paco Castagna and Tobias Thomsen (who himself left and then returned) the only two original members.
With former Eagle Adam Ellis heading their offensive and with the all action Jason Garrity and Finn Tero Aarnio joining him to form a wholly impressive heat leader trio they possess a resilient look throughout the order and one that is sure to test Eastbourne to the limit in their final contest of the campaign.
Their line up is completed by highly rated Dane Nick Agertoft and reserve Tom Perry who often cut a dash around the Sussex circuit on his visits during their National League days.
The message is clear from the Sussex Club’s Management, come and get your Speedway action while you still can with the long winter beckoning.
Doors open at 5.45p.m. with tapes set to rise at 7.30 – announcements concerning the 2020 season are set to be made and there is still a lot of fun to be had.
Teams: (in alphabetical order)
Eagles: Connor Coles (Guest for Alfie Bowtell), Jason Edwards, Edward Kennett, Lewis Kerr, Nick Morris (Guest for Richard Lawson), Kyle Newman, Georgie Wood.
Brummies : Tero Aarnio, Nick Agertoft, Paco Castagna, Adam Ellis, Jason Garrity, Tom Perry, Tobias Thomsen.
Image credit: Mike Hinves & Tiffany Graveling Photography