It’s Plymouth at the Double

Eastbourne are targeting a swift rise up speedway’s National League table –beginning this weekend.

The Forman IT Eagles go to Plymouth on Friday (August 10) and entertain the Westcountry outfit the following evening at Arlington Stadium.

During a lull in racing, Eastbourne have introduced Ethan Spiller to the team in place of Kelsey Dugard.

Ethan, younger brother of Daniel who rode for the Eagles in 2015, makes his debut at Plymouth.

A Speedway Team Spiller spokesperson said: “It is a great opportunity for Ethan to be able to race in the UK and even better to be part of the Forman IT Eastbourne team for whom Daniel rode.

“Ethan will be staying with the Dugard family during his time in the UK. This will be the first time that Ethan has ridden the 500cc bike on the UK tracks, but I am sure that with the help of Martin Dugard and the rest of the team he will find his feet in no time.”

Eagles’ No 1 Tom Brennan misses the long trip to Devon, and the home fixture, because he is off on an even longer journey – to Finland to ride in the European U-19 Final.

Eastbourne call up Danny Ayres to guest in his place.

The Suffolk-based rider will also be in the Eagles’ team for the home match.

Team manager Connor Dugard said: “Danny Ayres will, I’m sure, be a great guest for Tom. He never gives up when he races and is pure entertainment.”

Dugard said the two matches against Plymouth gave the Eagles a good opportunity to pick up points and move up the table with the target of making the end-of-season Play Offs.

He said: “Our team is getting better and better and the target is to be ‘bang in form’ when trophies are won and lost in the last two months of the season.”

In facing Plymouth, Eastbourne will come up against three ‘old boys’ – Richard Andrews, who rode in the club’s debut National League campaign; Ellis Perks, who rode in the 2016 Eastbourne team; and Kelsey Dugard.

There will, of course, be sadness surrounding the match at Arlington as it will be the first since the death of Bob Dugard on Sunday. 

The meeting’s programme will contain a full obituary, tributes and other features about the life and times of Bob. A special front cover for the programme has been produced.

Eastbourne team for both matches:

1. Danny Ayres, 2. Jason Edwards, 3. Mark Baseby, 4. Charley Powell 5. Georgie Wood, 6. Ethan Spiller, 7. Charlie Brooks

Plymouth (at Arlington): Ellis Perks, Ryan Terry-Daley, Tim Webster (R/R), Richard Andrews, Henry Atkins, Kelsey Dugard, No 7 TBA.

*First race in the National League fixture at Arlington is at 7.30pm. There are junior races from 6.45pm. Once the main event is finished (about 9pm), there will be a Southern Development League match between Weymouth and Exeter.