Eastbourne are the 2018 National League champions.
They completed the double by beating Mildenhall Fen Tigers on aggregate in the Grand Final – the team they beat to win the KO Cup earlier in the month.
The Forman IT Eagles rode brilliantly at the Suffolk club’s West Row stadium tonight (October 25) to defend the 19-point lead they established on Sunday at Arlington.
Captain Mark Baseby promised the Eagles would attack to defend and that’s what they did from the off with Georgie Wood winning heat one.
They halted every Mildenhall attempt to get back into the tie and the scores were 30-30 at the interval which left the Eagles within touching distance.
The Fen Tigers squeezed out a win on the night 46-44 but the Eagles took the title 98-81 on aggregate.
It is the club’s first league championship since 2000 when they won the Elite League.
This year’s victory is particularly special because Bob Dugard, who was Mr Eastbourne Speedway, died in August.
After the victory, Eastbourne riders came on to the terraces at Mildenhall to celebrate with the travelling supporters.
Connor Dugard, the Forman IT Eagles’ team manager, was almost lost for words after the title was clinched.
“This is a fabulous night. What a team, what a result.
“We have said all season that we were building a team to bring success to the club when the prizes were handed out in October.
“This team have done it. They have delivered a league and cup double. Just brilliant.”
NATIONAL LEAGUE GRAND FINAL, 2nd leg
MILDENHALL 46: Drew Kemp 13, Josh Bailey 10+2, Ryan Kinsley 10+1, Nathan Stoneman 6, Matt Marson 5+1, Sam Bebee 2+1 Jordan Jenkins r/r
EASTBOURNE 44: Georgie Wood 11+1, Mark Baseby 10, Charlie Brooks 7+1, Tom Brennan 7, Jason Edwards 5+1, Ethan Spiller 3+1, Charley Powell 1+1
Eastbourne win 98-81 on aggregate
Now come and celebrate the league and cup double at Arlington Stadium tomorrow night when the Forman IT Eagles face Mildenhall in a league match which was postponed earlier in the season.
It will be a great night to see the boys who have completed this remarkable result, talk to them, take photographs, grab some autographs and generally have a great time.
It’s the last speedway of the season at Arlington and it starts at 8pm.
C’mon down and party.
Here’s how we reported tonight’s match from Mildenhall.
It’s the match of the season tonight as the Eastbourne Forman IT Eagles seek to land the National League title.
We are live at Mildenhall’s West Row stadium to bring you heat-by-heat as the second leg of the National League Play Offs Grand Final unfolds.
Eastbourne have a 19-point lead from the first leg and are expecting a blizzard from the Fen Tigers in the opening heats as they throw everything at their visitors to claw back the deficit.
Your man trackside is Kevin Ling with, as usual, Paul Watson in the warm back in Sussex to bring it all together for you
Good luck Eagles.
You will probably need to refresh this page as we go along.
It’s pretty chilly at the West Row stadium, just like it was nearly 12 months ago when we landed the KO Cup. Let’s hope that is an omen.
Mildenhall: Drew Kemp, Jordan Jenkins R/R, Josh Bailey, Ryan Kinsley, Nathan Stoneman, Matt Marson, Same Bebee.
Eastbourne: Georgie Wood, Jason Edwards, Mark Baseby, Ethan Spiller, Tom Brennan, Charlie Brooks, Charley Powell.
Riders now out on parade. Mildenhall take 1 and 3 in heat one after winning the toss.
It appears from the terraces that Mildenhall guest Nathan Stoneman has hit bike problems on the parade.
1 Riders coming to tapes Marson R/R. Georgie flies from the start to lead all the way from Kemp – Jason tucks nicely into third place for opening 4-2 to the Eagles, 37-58 time 50.3
2 Marson takes the the win with Brooks in close attendance – Bebee suffered a fall down the back straight of lap one however, Powell taking the third place point for a share of the spoils 3-3, 5-7, 40-61, time 52.1
An immediate dose of heavy track grading going on after just two races.
3 Tight first turn and a tumble for Ethan who did get a nudge from Bailey – race not stopped and Bailey takes win – Baseby comfortable in second holding off Kinsley, 4-2, 9-9, 44-63, 52.0
4 Brooks in for Powell. Charlie is our darling – brilliant win for Brooks gate to flag ahead of Stoneman – a ragged start from Tom and he was unable to make up the ground but no matter Brooks powers to the win even after clouting the safety fence out of second bend of lap two – veered off on a strange course into turn three but they still couldn’t catch him, 3-3, 12-12, 47-66 52.6
5 Another brilliant win for Wood – Kinsley takes second but one heck of a scrap between Bailey and Edwards for third – went the way of the Fen Tiger but 19 points still the difference on aggregate 3-3, 15-15, 50- 69, 51.3
6 Powell in for Brooks. Bebee takes R/R. Kemp draws first blood against Brennan – Tom defies early scare from Bebee to pass him heading into second lap 4-2, 19-17, 54-71, 51.3
7 Fen Tigers gate on 5-1 but Baseby and Spiller through on Marson inside down back for 3-3 with Stoneman taking he win 3-3, 22-20, 57-74, 52.6
8 Kinsley takes R/R. Brooks takes place of Powell. Eagles duo gate well but Kinsley shoots around the outside to take the win – Edwards and Brooks solid in second and third though, keeping Bebee at the back 3-3, 25-23, 60-77, 52.0 secs
9 Tom joins the party from the inside gate to the fast outside line – he leads throughout from Bailey and Kinsley – Powell (replacing Brooks) unable to land a blow but Eagles homing in on the title 3-3, 28-26, 63-80, 52.3
10 Baseby down, taken off by Bebee (R/R) on first bend of lap two – Bebee disqualified. The Base is up and OK but working on the bike – rerun with three only. Re-run: Baseby flies from the gate, cuts off Kemp’s outside run to take the win – Spiller safe in third for 4-2, 30-30, 65-84, 52.1
Next heat coming very soon
11 YESSSSSSSSSS. Champions. Georgie and Jason all the way for a 5-1. Brilliant just brilliant. The score on the night is 31-35, progressive 66-89 and the time was 52.4. Celebrations!!!!!!!
12 Baseby takes the win from Bailey – Brooks dicing with him all the way but just misses out – Bebee couldnt land a blow 2-4, 33-39, 68-93, 53.1
13 Kemp gets the win over Tom and Georgie, Stoneman last. Hard work has been done and the super Eagles still lead by six on the night, 3-3, 36-42, 71-96, 52.3
Eagles fans at Mildenhall are in high excitement. Our announcer Steve Crow has been up on the picnic tables to lead the Eagles’ war cries.
14 That’s a 5-1 for Fen Tigers by Kinsley and Marson over Spiller and Powell – the fight back is on for victory on the night. 41-43, 76-97, 53.5
Kevin says an American aircraft has just flown over the stadium – he swears the pilot did a “victory roll”. But then he admits he is all of a quiver.
The Lukas Drynl support team are out in force at West Row and their flags are flying high and proud.
15 Kemp (R), Bailey (B), Brennan (W), Wood (Y). The Fen Tigers win on the night with a 5-1 from Kemp with Bailey behind and Georgie third and Tom fourth. 5-1, 46-44, 81-98, 52.8.
Baseby and Powell straight over to celebrate with the fans and at the end of the meeting all the riders and officials mingled with the joyous supporters, bringing the NL Trophy for everyone to see and have photographs taken.