ISLE OF WIGHT A THREAT, WARNS DUGARD
Beware wounded Warriors.
That is the message from Eastbourne Speedway club chairman, Martin Dugard, to his riders before Saturday’s (May 5) National Trophy match at Arlington Stadium.
His Forman IT Eagles entertain the Isle of Wight Warriors, a team they unceremoniously dumped out of the KO Cup last week.
The Sussex club hit the 60-point mark in the home leg and then rubbed salt in the wound with a win on the Island in the second leg.
Eastbourne are in cracking form around their home track but Dugard warned that things could be different this time around.
He pinpointed the return to the Isle of Wight side of Ben Morley, who missed the cup match because he was on duty for his more senior club, Lakeside.
Morley is known for his trademark fast starts and is a regular big scorer at Arlington.
Dugard said Eastbourne had missed their traditional early season tussles with Kent, which were invariable hard fought.
“We have to be careful with the Isle of Wight. They can be good, especially with Ben Hopwood, who knows this place so well, and Ben Morley.
“We have to be on our guard. We don’t want them to come and bite us,” he said.
Team manager Connor Dugard added: “The Isle of Wight kept us to a four-point lead after seven races a couple of weeks ago before we pulled away.
“They are definitely stronger this time around. Ben Morley will be a big threat.
“We cannot afford any slip-ups.”
The Isle of Wight have made one other change to their team.
Jamie Sealey drops to the No 8 back-up position to make way for Shaun Tedham at reserve.
Eastbourne are at full strength with No 1 and captain Mark Baseby returning to the team after missing two matches because of prior, previously booked, engagements.
Eastbourne: Mark Baseby, Kelsey Dugard, Tom Brennan, Charley Powell, Georgie Wood, Jason Edwards, Charlie Brooks.
Isle of Wight: Ben Morley, Danno Verge, Scott Campos, Chris Widman, Ben Hopwood, Adam Portwood, Shaun Tedham.
The first race begins at 7.30pm.
There is once again a second-half at Arlington on Saturday with the Weymouth Wildcats, who use the Eastbourne track as their ‘home’ while seeking a permanent stadium, taking on the Isle of Wight Wizards in a Southern Development League match over six heats.
Pictured: Mark Baseby in flying action. Tiffani Graveling