Eastbourne Eagles open their 2018 National League campaign tonight with a home match against the Buxton Hitmen.

It’s a match the Sussex club will expect to win, writes Paul Watson.

In recent years the Derbyshire side have generally been strugglers but more than once have threatened to upset the Eagles’ applecart at Arlington.

Those past performances make everyone in the home camp determined to ensure there will be no slip-ups.

Buxton have one of the league’s top men at No 1 - Ben Wilson - and he will certainly test the Forman IT Eagles’ No 1 and captain, Mark Baseby.

However, Baseby will be on a high following the club’s win last night at Plymouth in which he won the final race, lowering the colours of Adam Roynon for the first time in the last-hear decider.

A familiar face in the Hitmen’s line-up will be Connor Coles who at this time last year was riding for the Eagles before moving out in a reshuffle to the Isle of Wight.

All home eyes will be on 15-year-old reserve Jason Edwards.

Last Saturday he splashed through the mud at Arlington in the British U-21 semi-final and secured a place in the final.

At Plymouth, he was again in the points.

For all the team it will be some more valuable track time before they head to the Midlands tomorrow to face Coventry, who this year ride at Leicester’s Beaumont Park.

At Arlington tonight, the parade will be at 7.20pm and first race at 7.30pm.

After the National League meeting, there is a development league individual meeting, staged by Weymouth.