EAGLES PULVERISE THE KINGS
EASTBOURNE 68: Georgie Wood 15, Mark Baseby 12, Tom Brennan 10, Jason Edwards 9+2, Kelsey Dugard 9, Charley Powell 8+4, Charlie Brooks 5+2.
KENT 21: Jack Thomas 9, Luke Bowen 5, Anders Rowe 3, Alex Spooner 2, Taylor Hampshire 1, Nathan Stoneman 1, Jacob Clouting 0.
Eastbourne totally destroyed the Kent Kings in tonight’s (June 16) National Trophy match at Arlington.
The statistics tell the story:
Eastbourne 68, Kent 21
Fifteen races - fifteen times an Eagle took the chequered flag
One 5-0 heat win
Seven 5-1 heat wins
Seven 4-2 heat wins
That meant a Kent rider did not take the chequered flag, nor did they gain any heat advantage.
The Forman IT Eagles won the first five races by a 5-1 margin and then took the sixth 5-0 to be 30-5 up.
There were maximums for Georgie Wood (15 points), Mark Baseby (12) and Charley Powell (8+4).
Wood provided the most entertainment with two scintillating rides.
First he tracked Luke Bowen in heat 13 to complete a thrilling switch back on the last bend to storm up the inside to victory.
Wood turned on the style again in heat 15 when he came from third place to first pass Bowen and then Jack Thomas to complete a magic maximum.
Wood paid tribute to his back-up man for the work he did in the pits before those two thrilling wins.
He said: I owe it all to the mechanic [Chris Geer]. We spoke before heat 13 and I said ‘the track has changed, we need to make a change. We are going out and doing the business but I don’t feel as comfortable to put the bike where I want’.
“We made a change and it was, thankfully, in the right direction. I didn’t purposely miss the gate and I was up against it.
“I had the compatibility and the legs in the engine to pull me through.
“It was quite a thrill being on the bike. Those last two races have put me sky high.”
Team manager Connor Dugard said: “I love beating Kent and that wasn’t beating Kent; that was making a mockery of them.
“To be honest, the track wasn’t that great so I think that just shows how good this team is.
“I don’t want to be disrespectful to Kent but my team were quality and they were not very good at all.”
It is the biggest Eastbourne win in the National League, which they joined in 2015.
Here is the Kevin Ling verdict
Eastbourne ‘Forman IT’ Eagles seized back the local bragging rights in emphatic style following a record breaking win at Arlington stadium on Saturday evening.
The Sussex side recorded an emphatic 68-21 National Trophy win over near neighbours and local rivals the Kent Kings.
Georgie Wood scorched to an immaculate 15-point maximum, his efforts to overhaul opponents in heats 13 and 15 providing the match highlights to delight the Eastbourne fans.
Skipper Mark Baseby also secured maximum points from his four outings while Charlie Powell also went unbeaten by an opponent to record a paid full house.
In reply, Jack Thomas was the most prolific visitor with four second places included in his 9-point tally.
As for the rest it would prove a night to forget, Captain Luke Bowen in particular falling short of his usual free-scoring ways, an engine failure in his final outing while disputing the lead with Wood effectively summing up his evening.
Although effectively a dead rubber, with the Mildenhall Fen Tigers having booked their final place in the competition, pride was still an issue and the Eagles attacked the fixture with gusto from the word go.
Following a closely fought affair at Kent’s Central Park stadium earlier in the weeks when the hosts snatched a 46-44 victory having trailed for much of the fixture, a similar match up was anticipated as the teams resumed rivalries in the return.
That might have been the thinking by many but the Eastbourne septet put paid to the theory with an opening salvo of six consecutive maximum heats to all but end the match as a contest.
It should be recorded that amid that, the visitors had all of the bad luck going with no fewer than five fallers in the opening six heats.
Nathan Stoneman, twice, and number one and Bowen all suffered tumbles when in scoring positions.
Reserve Jacob Clouting also fell in both races two and six, the second of these robbing Kent of a finisher in that race, thus stretching the scoreline to 30-5 at that stage.
Thomas served to punctuate the onslaught as he became the first visitor to finish ahead of an Eastbourne rider as he led Kelsey Dugard to the chequered flag in heat seven.
Anders Rowe followed suit in the race following as he outpaced Eagles reserve Charlie Brooks but in either instance, with Tom Brennan and Jason Edwards taking the respective wins, the brace of home 4-2’s stretched the margin to 38-9 with half the match down.
Baseby and Powell then combined for Eastbourne’s seventh maximum, this one coming at the expense of Stoneman as the scoreline moved further out of the Kings view with it now standing at 43-10.
The continued attack did tone itself down slightly in the following few races with four consecutive 4-2s going the way of the home side.
Still no heat winner for the visitors however, one that might have offered the merest crumb of comfort and as yet no last places for the Sussex side as they continued to stamp their authority mercilessly over the match.
Thomas and Bowen each secured a pair of second places in that sequence, the latter being denied that elusive win in sight of the finish line in heat thirteen courtesy of a stunning cut back and run in by Wood that snatched the verdict.
Bowen did at least lead home Brennan however, the only Kent rider to do so thus preventing the young Eagle from recording a maximum of his own.
By the time Dugard and Powell paired up for Eastbourne’s eighth maximum win of the match the score line stood at an eye watering 64-19 with the Kent contingent already licking their wounds in earnest.
Suddenly it appeared as if they would have their moment to celebrate as Thomas and Bowen left the start side by side in heat fifteen in first and second.
A 5-1 looked to be on the cards as the duo led Wood and Edwards but the Eagles number one wasn’t to be denied his moment.
Wood first weaved his way past Bowen, the Kent riders motor soon dying thereafter thus enabling Edwards to come through into third place.
Wood then completed a night of glory for the Sussex side by storming through on Thomas’s inside heading into the final lap to bank the fifteenth of fifteen heat wins for his team and with it a fifteenth race advantage.
The resultant 4-2 saw the score line settle at a mammoth 68-21 thus setting the seal on a complete performance and a perfect night for Eastbourne and one very much to forget by the cruelly deposed Kings.
Eagles: Georgie Wood 15(5), Mark Baseby 12(4), Tom Brennan 10(4), Jason Edwards 9+2(5). Kelsey Dugard 9(5), Charley Powell 8+4(4), Charlie Brooks 5+2(3). – 68
Kings: Jack Thomas 9(5), Luke Bowen 5(5), Anders Rowe 3(4), Alex Spooner 2(4), Nathan Stoneman 1(4), Taylor Hampshire 1(4), Jacob Clouting 0(4). – 21