EAGLES IN KO CUP QUARTER FINALS
Eastbourne Speedway are through to this year’s National League KO Cup quarter finals.
Tonight (April 26) they went to the Isle of Wight for the second leg of the first round tie against the Warriors and won 48-42 on the night and 108-72 on aggregate.
The Forman IT Eagles had taken a firm grip on the tie on Saturday when they won 60-30 on their home track.
Within the first few races on the Island it was clear the home side were not going to cause an upset and the Sussex club was through to the next round, where they will face Coventry.
Club chairman Martin Dugard said it was a strong performance.
“We had quite a good night and have come from our own small track to the biggest track.
“Everything we have done this year so far has been on small tracks so this was a good test for us to ride here ready for when we come back in the league, which is the important one.
Mark Baseby had been unlucky in one race when he lost his steel shoe and said Jason Edwards had put in another great performance.
He was also delighted that Charlie Brooks secured a flying win in heat two.
“It was a complete team performance and you have to be pleased with that,” he said.
Here's how the match unfolded.
It's the Isle of Wight Warriors v the Eastbourne Forman IT Eagles tonight (April 26) in the second leg of the KO Cup.
Your usual team will be on duty this evening to bring you heat-by-heat updates of the first round tie.
Kevin Ling is trackside at the Andrew Younie Smallbrook Stadium, just outside Ryde, and Paul Watson is your host back at base, bringing it all together.
Eastbourne won the first leg 60-30 at Arlington Stadium on Saturday and will be aiming for another win tonight.
Winners of the tie go on to face Coventry in the quarter-final.
In one piece of other news, Jason Edwards has been drawn at No 6 for the British Under-21 Final at Berwick on May 1.
On the Island
Kevin Ling is installed trackside at the Isle of Wight (his picture of the Smallbrook track is at the top).
Isle of Wight: Ben Morley, Chris Widman, Scott Campos, Danno Verge, Ben Hopwood, Jamie Sealey, Josh Embleton.
Eastbourne: Mark Baseby, Kelsey Dugard, Tom Brennan, Charley Powell, Georgie Wood, Charlie Brooks, Jason Edwards.
Weather: Cool, breezy and some blue sky. A pleasant evening for speedway.
Tonight's match marks a return "home" for Eagles Mark Baseby and Kelsey Dugard, who have both ridden in the past for the Island outfit.
The Warriors have made a change in their riding order from the first leg at Arlington with Widman at No 2 and Verge at No 4. Embleton comes in for Adam Portwood.
Eastbourne welcome back Baseby to the No 1 spot while Ben Morley is back for the home side.
Isle of Wight have won the toss and take 1 and 3 in heat one. Eagles will have the choice for heat 15.
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Heat 1: Morley sharp from the start and led all the way but Baseby kept him honest and put him under pressure throughout the four laps - Widman held third for a likely looking Warriors' 4-2 but his machine failed him on the third bend of lap two allowing Dugard a route through for a share of the spoils: 3-3, time 70.3 secs
Heat 2: BOOM! Charlie Brooks now gets his first away win as an Eagle. Embleton emerged clear down back straight first lap but Brooks and Edwards maintained pressure - Brooks made his move passing outside on the run in to lap three and Edwards followed suit within sight of the chequered flag for an Eagles' 5-1 - 4-8, time 75.6
Great result for 16-year-old Brooks. He's started tonight where he left off at Arlington last Saturday . . . with a win.
Heat 3: Charley Powell take a bow, leading from gate to flag in race three - Campos and Verge packed the minor places for the most part but Brennan made his move storming past Verge down the back straight of lap three. He gave chase to Campos but he was just out of reach: 2-4. 6-12, time 74.2.
Eagles have put the hammer down from the off on the Isle of Wight and providing some great racing for supporters.
Heat 4: Edwards fast from the start but Hopwood scorched round the outside out of bend 2 - that’s how it stayed with Ben taking a comfortable win, Edwards and Wood following on well ahead of Embleton for a split of the points: 3-3, 9-15, time 71.8
Embleton has come down to the meeting from Newcastle. He answered the Warriors' call and made the 400-mile journey to be there. That's dedication for you.
Tractor is out.
Heat 5: Bad luck Base! Mark was looking comfortable in early part, opening up a commanding lead over Campos but he lost his steel shoe mid race - still well ahead but then fell two bends from home allowing Campos to take the win. A Warriors' 5-1 looked on the cards but Dugard rounded Verge on the run in to limit the damage to a home 4-2, 13-17 time 73.9
As usual, there are a good few Eagles' fans watching. The home straight stand is quite full but sparse elsewhere.
Heat 6: Morley gates to claim his second win, this time from Wood. Again Widman held third with Brooks close at hand but suffered a second successive breakdown (again third bend, second lap) saw Brooks through for third and the 3-3 - 16-20, agg 46-80 time 70.8
Heat 7: A second win for Hopwood buoyed the Warriors but Brennan and Powell remained steadfast in second and third to protect Eagles' four point lead which now stands at 19-23, agg 49-83, time 71.4
Former Eagle Ben Hopwood's time in heat seven was his fastest around Smallbrook this year.
Heat 8: Embleton touches tapes. Replaced by Sealey. RED LIGHTS: Dugard and Edwards fastest from start to lead for 5-1 but Kelsey dropped it coming out of final bend on lap one necessitating a second stoppage. The ambulance was straight out but Kelsey up quickly but is disqualified. Re-run with three riders only.
Second rerun – Edwards gates to lead all the way from Widman and Sealey - Comfortable for the young Eagle, 3-3, 22-26, agg 52-86, time 73.9
The KO Cup quarter final dates with Coventry are already known. The Bees stage the first leg on May 13 with Arlington hosting the second leg on June 2.
Heat 9: It looked bleak for the Eagles as Campos and Verge led from the blocks in the 5-1 position. Wood made his way past Verge and then Campos inside on the second and third laps and looked to have it in the bag. Eagles fans had largely marked their programmes as a win for Wood but the decision was given to Campos. Brooks kept tabs on Verge but it was not to be, a 4-2 going the way of the Warriors who now close the margin to 2-points 26-28 agg 56-88 time 72.9
Kevin comments: It will be interested to see the dvd footage as I remained unconvinced that Campos won it.
With Morley and Hopwood set to figure in heats 13 and 15, Eastbourne might rue those dropped points in heats 5 and 8.
Heat 10: Morley took charge once again in heat 10 leading all the way from Brennan with Powell following on in third. Widman was sluggish from the start, coasting round after the first lap and pulling up eventually: 3-3, 29-31, agg 59-91, time 71.6
Interval during which time children's running races take place.
Interviews now taking place with home Wightlink Wizards riders.
Heat 11: Embleton for Sealey; Edwards for Dugard. Baseby condemns Hopwood to his first defeat of the night - Edwards gets the better of Embleton for the 4-2 that doubles the margin once more to 4-points: 31-35 - agg 61-95, time 72.1
Heat 12: Tommy B joins the party! A flying start for Brennan sees him romp home ahead of Campos - again Brooks gives a fine account of himself keeping up pressure on the Warriors' heat leader - a second successive 4-2 to the eagles gives them some breathing space, 39-33 now the score and 63-99 over the two legs - time 71.8
Now for the big finish. Can we lower Morley's colours. He's been flying tonight.
Heat 13: A good race - Morley emerged clear and clamped Baseby on the white line allowing Hopwood to roar around the outside. Base was having nothing of it though and slipped back past the former Eagle on the run in to lap two - continued to give chase to Morley but no catching the Warriors number one 4-2, 37 to 41 and 67-101 on aggregate, time 71.2
Heat 14: Match done and dusted as Edwards completes another fine performance with a win, Charley Powell riding shotgun all the way from the chasing Verge. The 5-1 secures the Eagles win – scores now moving to 46-38 in favour of the visitors agg 68-106 time 74.6
Great team work from Eastbourne tonight. The lads have been tested by a lively Warriors team but have raced hard to get the points.
Heat 15: R- Hopwood B - Morley W- Edwards Y - Baseby. Another battle between the respective number ones but Baseby cannot prevent Morley from completing a 15-point maximum - Hopwood followed in third for a 4-2 for the Warriors but Eagles win the war 48-42 and progress through to a quarter final date with the Coventry Bees by an aggregate 108-72 scoreline; time 71.2
Isle of Wight: Morley 15(5), Widman 2 (4), Campos 10 (4), Verge 3 (4), Hopwood 10 (5), Sealey 1+1 (4), Embleton 1 (4).
Eastbourne: Baseby 9 (5), Dugard 3+1 (3), Brennan 8 (4), Powell 7+3 (4), Wood 5+1 (4), Brooks 5+1 (4), Edwards 11 +1 (6).
Next match for the Eagles is on Saturday (April 28) at Arlington when we take on the Belle Vue Colts in the National League. First race at 7.30pm.