EAGLES 56 WARRIORS 34

Eastbourne Speedway captain Mark Baseby is confident everything is heading in the right direction with this year’s Forman IT Eagles.

He spoke after his team again inflicted a heavy defeat on the Isle of Wight Warriors; winning 56-34 in the National Trophy match on Saturday (May 5) night.

A complete rout was halted by the visitors number one, Ben Morley, who scored exactly half his side’s points.

However, there was little support, especially as Ben Hopwood, a former Eagle, was out injured.

It was another solid performance from the Eagles, led by Tom Brennan with 13 points but with every team member either winning a race or being paid for a win.

Fifteen-year-old reserve Jason Edwards continued his fine debut season with a first appearance in heat 15, where the riders are nominated by the team manager.

No matter the state of the match, this is always a pressure race and Edwards finished third behind his team-mate Brennan.

Baseby said: “Ben Morley is on top form at the moment but, look we did the job and came out with the win. We still have more to come.

“We are building and it is going good.”

Baseby admitted he struggled again with his steel shoe – he lost it completely in one race earlier in the season.

“It is one of those things. We’ll get over it. We always do.

“The main thing is the team is getting there. 

“Little Jason did well, Brooksie [Charlie Brooks] had a good one. Kelsey put in some decent performances tonight.

“Those boys are a vital part of our team. We are getting them going which is the main thing we want to do. We are on the up at the minute.

“We had some great performances tonight and we are coming on leaps and bounds.

“At home, we are looking a little bit formidable. We might have some tougher tests but we can handle it.”

NATIONAL TROPHY

EASTBOURNE 56: Tom Brennan 13, Jason Edwards 10+2, Mark Baseby 9+1, Georgie Wood 8, Charley Powell 6+3, Kelsey Dugard 5+2, Charlie Brooks 5+2.

ISLE OF WIGHT 34: Ben Morley 17, Danno Verge 5, Scott Campos 5, Chris Widman 3+1, Shaun Tedham 3, Adam Portwood 1+1, Ben Hopwood r/r.

Here's our detailed march report from Kevin Ling.

Eastbourne ‘Forman IT’ Eagles moved into second place in the National Trophy Southern division on Saturday evening, courtesy of another comprehensive Arlington victory, this time against the Isle of Wight Warriors.

The visitors offered sterner opposition than they had on their previous Knockout Cup visit to the venue in the early stages but their hosts eased away, establishing a comfortable 56-34 margin of victory by the close.

Tom Brennan top scored for the Eagles with 13-points and reserve Jason Edwards again looked impressive with a double figure tally.

However, this proved yet another solid all round performance from the Sussex side with every member contributing at least one win or a paid win.

Ben Morley proved the Star of the Show for the Warriors with a superb 17-point return, scoring exactly half of his teams total on the night.

Georgie Wood

Morley’s one defeat of the night came at the hands of Georgie Wood who led the former National League Riders' Champion home in commanding fashion in heat 11.

Elsewhere however, save for a heat win for Danno Verge in race eight, effective support for Morley from the remainder of the visitors was in short supply.

Morley began as he meant to go on easing clear of returning Eagles' Captain Mark Baseby for the win in the opening race.

Edwards proved first man home in the second but Warriors reserve duo Shaun Tedham and Adam Portwood combined to block out the chasing Charlie Brooks for a second successive share of the spoils.

The deadlock was broken as Brennan commenced his top scoring night with a win in heat three.

Charley Powell

Charley Powell followed his partner until an error on lap two saw Scott Campos come under him.

Powell returned the favour two laps later however, blasting back past the visitor to record the 5-1 that set the scores at 11-7.

Wood suffered a fall in the fourth, allowing Morley to storm away for his second win, this time from Brooks.

Tedham rode home unchallenged in third place for the visitors 4-2 that halved the deficit.

Parity was then restored following race five as Morley outpaced Brennan.

Verge got the better of Powell for a second successive 4-2, one that saw the scoreline move to 15-points apiece.

A double salvo of 5-1s in each of the next two re-affirmed control for the home side however, 8-points (25-17) proving the difference by the end of heat seven.

Baseby/Dugard

Baseby and Dugard combined for maximum points in heat six ahead of Chris Widman who took the Rider Replacement outing in place of the absent Ben Hopwood.

Wood and Edwards followed suit in the seventh at the expense of Campos putting clear daylight between the two teams.

Verge at least halted the flow with a win over Dugard and Brooks in race eight; however the difference remained at 8-points, 28-20.

Brennan and Powell then teamed up to pile on further pressure, a third 5-1 in the space of four races; this against Verge stretched the margin to 12-points, 33-21.

Baseby was an all the way winner in heat ten, Campos and Widman following him home.

Hopes of stretching the advantage were frustrated however as Dugard coasted to a halt mid race.

Wood delighted the home fans with that defeat of Morley in the eleventh, Edwards accounting for Verge as the Sussex side hit 40-points, the Warriors now some way back on 26.

The home victory and the jump to second place in the group was confirmed in the next as Brennan and Brooks saw off the challenge of Campos.

A fifth Eastbourne 5-1 saw the scores move to 45-27 leaving no way back for the Warriors.

Morley was warned to remain stationary at the start of heat 13 by match referee Chris Gay thus bringing all four riders back under orders.

It didn’t prevent him gaining a revenge win over Wood as the action resumed, Baseby following in third place, the split of the points seeing the score-line shift to 48-30.

Edwards continued another superb performance with a win in the penultimate  race as the Sussex outfit enjoyed a sixth maximum heat victory.

For the third time in four outings, Powell followed his team partner to the chequered flag, the latest 5-1 putting them beyond the half century mark, the scores now standing at 53-31 with one race left.

Morley would have the final word for the visitors, recording his second victory at the expense of home heat leader Brennan.

Edwards industry throughout the night was rewarded with a place in the nominated riders race, his third place ahead of Campos realising a closing share of the spoils, one that saw the final score reside at 56-34.

Second place in the National Trophy Southern Group, moving above the Plymouth Devils was the reward for Eastbourne’s victory.

Each of the teams in the division will be only too aware of the message delivered by table toppers, the Mildenhall Fen Tigers however in a devastating two day spell.

The Suffolk outfit seemingly breezed to a 59-31 on the Isle of Wight on Thursday then followed this up with an even more sizeable 61-29 success at the home of the Plymouth Devils the next evening to go top of the table and take firm control of the Group.

Though the Eagles will refuse to be intimidated by this, this will also be in no doubt as to the task at hand if they are yet to overhaul the Fen Tigers and qualify for the National Trophy Final.     

Scorers:

Eagles: Tom Brennan 13(5), Jason Edwards 10+2(5). Mark Baseby 9+1(4), Georgie Wood 8(4), Charley Powell 6+3(4), Kelsey Dugard 5+2(4), Charlie Brooks 5+2(4). – 56

Warriors: Ben Morley 17(6), Danno Verge 5(5), Scott Campos 5(6), Chris Widman 3+1(5), Shaun Tedham 3(5), Adam Portwood 1+1(3), Rider Replacement for Ben Hopwood, Jamie Sealey (No. 8) Did not Ride.. – 34

Paul Watson