CRUCIAL WEEKEND AHEAD

Two matches in less than 24 hours this weekend will decide whether Eastbourne reach the National League Play-Offs Final.

The Forman IT Eagles take on Coventry Bees at Arlington Stadium on Saturday night (October 6) in the first leg of the semi-final. 

The second leg is the following afternoon at Leicester’s stadium, where Coventry ride their home matches now that their Brandon stadium in unavailable.

The “prize” for one of the clubs will the two-legged final where the all-conquering Mildenhall Fen Tigers await.

The Suffolk club made short work of the Kent Kings in the other semi-final, winning both legs.

Eastbourne have already this season knocked out Coventry from the KO Cup at the quarter final stage.

Connor Dugard, the Eagles’ team boss, said what has gone before this year counts for nothing.

“It is all on these two matches,” he said.

“We need to get a big lead to take to the second leg, where I am expecting a very hard afternoon. If we can run up a big score at Arlington it will give us a cushion.

“As always, we target a win wherever we race, but we are under no illusions that we need to be on top of our game this weekend.”

October has brought a change in the averages which apply to where riders are placed in the team.

Ethan Spiller moves out of the reserves with Charley Powell dropping down.

Spiller will slot in at No 4.

Georgie Wood retains the number one race jacket.

Teams:

Eastbourne: Georgie Wood, Jason Edwards, Mark Baseby, Ethan Spiller, Tom Brennan, Charley Powell, Charlie Brooks.

Coventry: Connor Mountain, Danny Phillips, Luke Harris, Jon Armstrong, Luke Ruddick, Ryan MacDonald, Jamie Halder.

First race at Arlington: 7.30pm.

A Southern Junior Development League March between Reading and Isle of Wight will follow at about 9pm.