The Eastbourne HG Aerospace Eagles pulled off a fantastic 43-47 away victory in an entertaining meeting against The Kent Kings this evening (3rd August)
With the Kings having strengthened with the addition of Troy Batchelor and Jake Mulford, hopes were high for the home team, however Eagles Number 1 Richard Lawson laid down an immediate marker taking victory in heat 1, backed by Kyle Newman in third.
After a shared heat 2, Tom Brennan and Edward Kennett delivered another 4-2 heat advantage, replicated by Kerr and Kemp in heat 6, giving the Eagles a 6 point advantage.
The Kings hit back with their own 4-2 in the 8th to reduce the deficit to 4 points by the interval. The trend for shared heats continued up to heat 14, before Tom Brennan and Drew Kemp teamed up to deliver a knockout 5-1 over Cameron Heeps and Dan Gilkes.
The Kings scored a consolation 5-1 in the nominated heat 15, with Scott Nicholls delivering one of numerous stunning passes, to stop the Eagles taking all four league points, but the Eagles left Central Park an away victory and three league points.
Afterwards, jubilant Eagles Co-Promoter Trevor Geer commented:
What a great night. It doesn’t matter which club you are, away wins are few and far between, but tonight, we pulled it off and it’s a fantastic feeling.
I thought it might be tough meeting, especially after Kent had strengthened, but all the boys rode well tonight, from 1-7, and they all deserve credit for what they have achieved.
KENT 43: Scott Nicholls 13+1, Paul Starke 13, Troy Batchelor 7, Dan Gilkes 5+1, Ben Morley 3, Cameron Heeps 2+1, Jake Mulford 0
EASTBOURNE 47: Lewis Kerr 11+1, Tom Brennan 9+1, Richard Lawson 8+1, Drew Kemp 6+2, Kyle Newman 6+1, Edward Kennett 6+1, Nathan Ablitt 1+1
Championship points: Kent 0 Eastbourne 3
Here’s how Kevin Ling saw the meeting unfold.
Ht 1 Scorching gate and an all the way win for Richard. He led Batchelor all the way – Morley held third but Kyle reeled him and passed out of bend two third lap for a fine third – opening 4-2 to the Eagles. Time 57.6
Ht 2 Gilkes proved the instant hero – a fast start that saw him lead all the way from Drew – Mulford holding third with Nathan giving chase – the gremlins would catch up with him though and Nathan eased through for third. 3-3 5-7 time 58.5
Ht 3 Looked good for the Sussex side – Ed and Tom fastest from the start and the 5-1 looked the likely outcome – Tom a comfortable winner but Ed overcooked things on the final two bends drifting wide to enable Starke to snatch second on the run in to the line – nevertheless a 4-2 to Eagles and a progressive 11-7 lead time 57.7
Ht 4 The battle of the two skippers and one that went the way of our own Lewi in impressive style. He led Nicholls throughout with Gilkes securing the minor point for a share of the spoils – Nathan pulled out of proceedings entering the final lap 3-3 10-14 Time 57.4
Ht 5 Richard received something of a shunt in a tight first turn that ultimately saw Starke hit the front and continue for the win – Kyle held on for second but Richard swiftly got the better of Heeps to bank the 3-3 that safeguarded the 4- point advantage, now 17-13 in favour of the visitors – time 58.4
Ht 6 Superb start for Lewi who hit the first bend ahead of Batchelor and he increased his lead with every turn of the wheel – with Drew demonstrating similar mastery over- Mulford the resultant 4-2 saw the Eagles extend their lead to 6-points the scores now moving to 21-15 to the visitors – time 57.8
Ht 7 Another corker of a race, another brilliant showdown between Kennett and Nicholls – Ed led throughout but alas often for Nicholls to snatch the verdict by the narrowest margin on the line – with Tom following comfortably in third and well ahead of Mulford once more the points were shared – the progressive scores moving to 24-18 to the Eagles time 58.0
Ht 8 Kings fastest from the start – Morley and Gilkes leading from Kyle – the 5-1 looking a likely outcome but Kyle wouldn’t be denied – he cut past the latter out of the second bend of lap two and gave chase to Morley – a superb race ensued with Morley just holding on for the win from Kyle – Gilkes third ahead of Nathan 4-2 22-26 time 59.4
Ht 9 A third flying win for Lewi – he moved into the lead around the outside on turns one and two – from there he kept both Starke and Heeps at bay – try though he might Drew could not make up the necessary ground to challenge Heeps 3-3 25-29 Time 58.1
Ht 10 Batchelor blazes away to secure his first heat win as a Kent King and needless to say this was well received by the home faithful. Riders were well spread out but Tom and Ed remained secure in third with Gilkes seldom looking to land a blow 3-3 28-32 Time 57.
Ht 11 Richard and Kyle trap fast but Nicholls demonstrates superb track craft to clamp them down and deny them access around his outside down the back straight – that’s how it’s stays, Nicholls from Lawson and newman with Mulford bringing up the rear 3-3 31-35 Time 58.6
Ht 12 this time it’s Starke who records a flying win for the Kings but Ed and Drew stand firm in second and third well ahead of Gilkes 3-3 34-38 time 58.9
Ht 13 Nicholls superb – a sensational ride around the outside of Richard on bend 4 of lap one – Richard and Lewi knew the job they needed to do however and they combined to see off Batchelor – an important split of the points 3-3 37-41 Time 59.0
Ht 14 Tom and Drew hit the front and in fantastic style – no disrespect to the Kings but they were seldom troubled and led Heeps and Gilkes for the full course to take the match for the Eagles 1-5 38-46. time 59.0
Ht 15 Lewi hits the front and looks good in front but Starke around the final bend of lap one and then Nicholls at the same point two circuits later sweep past to bag the kings single 5-1 of proceedings – the home fans celebrated the moment, a shred of satisfaction being that they had denied Eagles the bonus point – 47-43 to Eastbourne their second travelling victory of the season time. time 59.1