Tough night at Armadale

The Eastborne Fineprint Eagles suffered a heavy defeat on the first night of their Northern Tour, as they went down 51-27 against the Edinburgh Monarchs, in meeting which was abandoned after 13 heats due to heavy rain.

The returning Cameron Heeps scored a four ride max for the Home team, whilst the Eagles guest Nick Morris topped the Sussex scorecard with 8 points.

EDINBURGH 51: Cameron Heeps 12, Sam Masters 9+2, Josh Pickering 9+2, Ricky Wells 8+1, James Sarjeant 7, William Lawson 5+1, Connor Coles 1

EASTBOURNE 27: Nick Morris 8, Richard Lawson 6, Kyle Newman 5, Alfie Bowtell 4, Jason Edwards 2+2, Lewis Kerr 1+1, Georgie Wood 1

Abandoned after 13 heats due to rain – Result STANDS

Here’s how Kevin Ling reported the action:

Here now at Armadale awaiting tonight’s head to head with the Edinburgh monarchs go head to head with our own Eagles.

We are now the only speedway set to take place in the country with rain offs affecting all other meetings – currently it’s overcast here but importantly it’s dry – there are patches of blue sky in between the rain threatening bits.

Teams as programmed are:

Edinburgh: 1 Sam masters 2 James Sarjeant 3 josh Pickering 4 Ricky Wells 5 Cameron Heeps 6 Connor Coles 7 William Lawson

Eagles: 1 Nick Morris 2 Georgie Wood 3 Kyle Newman 4 Lewi Kerr 5 Richard Lawson 6 Alfie Bowtell 7 Jason Edwards

Monarchs take gates 1 and 3

Riders now on track Masters (r) Sarjeant (b) Morris (w) Wood(y) in heat one

Georgie ruled out on 2 minutes – replaced by Alfie Bowtell – Monarchs won toss and chose 1and 3

Ht 1 Morris flies from the outside trap and into the lead – looks very fast to take the convincing win – Sarjeant tucked in behind him while masters looked strangely all at sea – Alfie also not looking comfortable in the conditions and trails the field throughout 3-3 Time 56.5

Ht 2 Coles (r) Lawson (b) Bowtell (w) Edwards

It would appear Georgie has been caught up in traffic and is a late arrival

A hotly contested heat 2, a little scrappy but one that went the way of Lawson – Alfie made his first race experience count as he led Coles throughout and Jason gave the travelling Eagles fans (a considerable number) cause to cheer, as he produced a late run to snatch third on the line 3-3 6-6 Time 60.7

Ht 3 Pickering (r) Wells (b) Newman (w) Kerr

Ht 3 Not the ideal for the Eagles unfortunately – Wells took control from the off and it appeared that a third successive 3-3 was in prospect as Kyle and Lewi tucked in second and third – again the Eagles still finding their feet as Lewi went wide on bend four allowing Pickering through into third – the Aussie then gave chase to Kyle and his industry paid off as he moved through on his inside heading into the last lap to bank the Monarchs first 5-1 11-7 Time 58.7

Ht 4 Heeps (r) Lawson (b) Lawson (w) Edwards (y )

Ht 4 Edinburgh move a further 2-points to the good as Heeps enjoys a runaway win on his first race back following injury – Richard held on for second but his namesake William won the battle of the reserves heading Jason home for the 4-2 and an overall 15-9 lead time 58.4

Ht 5 up soon Pickering (r) Wells (b) Morris (w) Wood (y )

Ht 5 Unfortunate times again for Eagles, as Morris finds himself disqualified following a fall in the fifth – Wells and Pickering hit the front with Morris giving chase – he loses it in the third turn however and falls but hats off to Georgie for dropping his bike to avoid piling into the stand in Eagle, preventing causing him injury – all up and okay but three riders only in the re-run.

Wells and Pickering seize control of heat five, leaving Georgie trailing in their wake – the only change in the order coming as Pickering passes Wells on lap three 5-1 20-10 time 59.1

Ht 6 Masters (r) Sarjeant (b) Lawson (w) Bowtell (y )

Ht 6 Riders called back under orders with Sarjeant issued a warning to remain stationary at the start

Ht 6 Wells takes the win from Richard, who gets the better of Sarjeant in the early part – Alfie unfortunately unable to land a blow and a further 4-2 goes the way of the monarchs – they now lead 24-12 time 58.6

Ht 7 Due up after track grading:  Heeps (r) Coles (b) Newman (w) Kerr (y )

Ht 7 Lewi hit the front and was looking good for the three points as he led Heeps in the early part and it appeared that Eagles might be on for their first heat advantage as Newman held third with Coles already a faller (to remount). The second lap saw Lewi go wide on bend two and the lapse in control offered Heeps a route through down the back straight – a gap that he duly exploited. Kyle would also find his way past Kerr on the final lap but still led home Coles 3-3 27-15 Time 59.2

Ht 8 Sarjeant (r) Lawson (b) Bowtell (w) (replacing Georgie who has now been withdrawn having aggravated his injury in the heat five tumble) Edwards (y )

Ht 8 Bowtell hits the front but only until the third turn as Lawson comes through on his inside – in so doing he takes Alfie’s leg and he falls – Lawson is ruled out by the official, but no malice as the two riders shake hands

Ht 8 Re-run Sarjeant gates and leads throughout from Alfie with Jason trailing back in third 3-3 30-18 time 60.1

Ht 9 Pickering (r) Wells (b) Wells (w) Bowtell (y )

Ht 9 Eagles really not having the best of times as Wells and Pickering bank their third 5-1 of the night this time at the expense of Richard – match slipping further from Eagles grasp with the scores now standing at 35-19 time 59.5

Ht 10 Masters (r) Sarjeant (b) Newman (w) Kerr (y )

Ht 10 more misery for Lewi who spins around on the second turn and falls – he is swiftly up and on the centre green, leaving Wells to secure a seemingly untroubled win, with Kyle second having fended off Sarjeant 4-2 39-21 time 59.5

Ht 11 Heeps (r) Coles (b) Morris (w) Bowtell (y ) replacing Wood

Ht 11 Alfie in the wars again unfortunately, as he buries himself in the air fence on the second turn – he is up and seemingly okay, but ruled out of the second running

Ht 11 Heeps all the way in the re-run heading Morris throughout, right to the chequered flag – Coles takes third and it’s another Monarchs 4-2 – progressive score now 43-23 time 58.7

Ht 12 Pickering (r) Lawson (b) Newman (w) Bowtell (y )

Ht 12 Nick Morris now coming out in yellow, taking the tactical substitute ride in place of Alfie.

Ht 12 Both Eagles hit the front and could be on for the 5-1, but no Kyle hit difficulties on turn two and it duly takes another victim – Kyle now disqualified but the second bend does seem to be giving us problems

Ht 12 Re-run(w), Pickering (r), W Lawson (y)

Ht 12 re-run Brilliant race between Morris and Pickering who pass and repass for the first couple of laps – Nick holds on for the win, but the points remain shared with Lawson riding home unchallenged for third 3-3 46-26 time 59.3

Ht 13 Heeps (b), Masters (r), R Lawson (y), Morris(w)

The earlier expected rain is now falling and pretty much matches the Eagles mood – not a vintage night for the lads unfortunately,  as the hosts hit the big 5-1 to take them past the half century mark – Morris pulls up at the tail end of lap one not loving the conditions – Heeps and Masters go away for the 5-1 51-27 now the score Time 62.3

The rain now falling ever harder the remainder of the meeting has been called off – the score 51-27 standing as the result

Armadale Image: Kevin Ling

Main image: Mike Hinves