EAGLES 49 DEVILS 41
Eastbourne were pushed all the way by Plymouth in tonight’s (June 9) National Trophy match at Arlington Stadium.
The home heat leaders struggled to contain the top-end strength of the Devon outfit who had Adam Roynon and guest Danyon Hume in great form.
Those two in particular were fast away from the starts and the Forman IT Eagles big three of Georgie Wood, Mark Baseby and Tom Brennan found them hard to contain on a slick track.
Eastbourne’s cause was not helped by Brennan’s engine literally exploding in his opening ride which left it in pieces and beyond repair.
Plymouth has the majority of heat winners but could not find sufficient support from their back-up riders to cause an upset.
That was their weakness and, in contrast, the Eagles lesser lights blossomed.
Jason Edwards continues among the points after stepping up to the No 2 slot from reserve while Kelsey Dugard appears to be gaining in confidence.
His reserve partner Charlie Brooks put in an encouraging performance, particularly after he was battered and bruised in a high-speed crash last week and has been busy this week sitting school exams.
Eastbourne team manager Connor Dugard was satisfied in the end with the result.
“It was harder than I expected and that is probably our fault. The track went really, really slick after the kids went out for six races before the meeting.
“We are learning but it did make it easier for them to ride. Normally we have a lot of dirt.
“Plymouth are a good team. Adam Roynon is an out-and-out No 1. Danyon Hume [guest] was a No 5 which they don’t normally have.
“It was speedway at the end of the day and we still got three points.
“Everyone chipped in. It came down to gating and we were often chasing from the starts."
EASTBOURNE 49: Mark Baseby 10, Georgie Wood 9, Jason Edwards 8+2, Kelsey Dugard 7, Charlie Brooks 6+2, Tom Brennan 5, Charley Powell 4+2.
PLYMOUTH 41: Adam Roynon 14, Danyon Hume 14, Ryan Terry-Daley 5, Luke Harris 5, Richard Andrews 2+1, Macauley Leek 1, Henry Atkins r/r.
Here's the Kevin Ling verdict on last night's action.
Eastbourne ‘Forman IT’ Eagles were forced to dig deep to secure a 49-41 National Trophy victory over visitors, the Plymouth Devils at Arlington stadium on Saturday evening.
With respect, the Devils aren’t generally regarded as one of the teams more likely to test Eastbourne around their own strip, so credit where it’s due, they certainly kept them on their toes on this occasion.
Indeed, the visitors still had their hosts locked at level pegging as late as the conclusion of heat nine, that being the point when the Eagles kicked on and finally eased clear over the final six races.
With Adam Roynon turning in a quality performance in the number one berth, the Devils also had guest Danyon Hume in particular to thank for keeping them well in contention.
Both riders scored 14-points, Roynon suffering only one defeat, to Tom Brennan in heat nine whilst Hume bowed twice to Georgie Wood, in thirteen and fifteen, with Roynon proving triumphant in each of those races.
In reply, the Eastbourne scorechart had a more solid, all round appearance; skipper Mark Baseby heading the pile with 10-points from his five outings.
It would prove the visitors who drew first blood, Roynon taking the win from Jason Edwards in heat one, Wood taking a tumble on the second turn effectively gifting the odd point to Ryan Terry-Daley for an opening 4-2.
Eastbourne hit back immediately, Kelsey Dugard and Charlie Brooks combining for maximum points to seize the lead in race two.
Then it appeared it might be business as usual, Baseby and Charley Powell pairing up for a second successive 5-1 to stretch the home advantage to 6-points 12-6.
Brennan was looking good for the win in heat four, however a catastrophic engine failure three laps in robbed him of a likely victory.
Hume duly took advantage, heading Brooks to the chequered flag with former Eagle Richard Andrews banking third place, the Devils' 4-2 narrowing the margin to 14-10.
Roynon was an all the way winner of race five, Baseby proving his victim.
With Terry-Daley also getting the better of Powell, a second successive 4-2 to the visitors (and third in the five races so far run) edged them closer to their hosts, the scores now standing at 16-14.
Hume claimed a second win and the impressive scalp of Wood in the sixth, Edwards following on for a share of the spoils as the 2-point difference remained in place, 19-17.
Suddenly it was level pegging once again, Hume, taking the Rider Replacement outing on behalf of Henry Atkins, getting the better of Brennan.
With Luke Harris also denying Dugard, a fourth 4-2 to the Devils restored deadlock at 27-points apiece.
A fine outside pass of Terry-Daley by Edwards effectively prevented Plymouth sneaking into the lead, the Eagle taking the win with Andrews heading home Brooks in third.
Hume was very much on a roll and heading both Baseby and Powell comfortably in heat nine.
The race wasn't destined to go the full distance however, Macauley Leek suffering a fall at the rear of the field on lap two, match referees Wayne Jarvis/Chris Gay calling the result at that point.
Maximum points for Wood and Edwards applied the match to the touch paper, the 5-1 over Harris, with Andrews a faller putting Eagles in control of the fixture, 32-28 with five heats remaining.
Brennan struck a further blow for the Sussex side, becoming the first to lower Roynon’s colours in heat eleven, Dugard’s third place at the expense of Terry-Daley further strengthening their hand.
The 4-2 widened the margin to 6-points (36-30) and Baseby and Brooks then put the Eagles within sight of victory, a further 5-1 against Harris and Andrews seeing their lead hit double figures at 41-31.
Still the Plymouth threat hadn’t completely been snuffed out and Roynon and Hume set out in search of maximum points in heat thirteen.
Momentarily it appeared a work in progress but Wood applied the brakes to the visitor’s ambition with a fine back straight pass of the latter.
The resultant 4-2 narrowed the scoreline to 43-35.
Dugard then put the match beyond doubt, coming from the back to deny Harris with Powell holding third place for the swift reply 4-2 that returned the margin to 10-points, 47-37.
Roynon finished just as he had started and a further win over Wood signed things off in style for the visitors. With Hume again following on in third however, the Devils would fall just short of the consolation bonus points that their considerable efforts might have warranted, the final scores settling at 49-41.
Eagles: Mark Baseby 10(5), Georgie Wood 9(5), Jason Edwards 8+2(4). Kelsey Dugard 7(4), Charlie Brooks 6+2(4), Tom Brennan 5(4), Charley Powell 4+2(4). – 49
Devils: Adam Roynon 14(5), Danyon Hume (Guest for James Cockle) 14(6), Luke Harris (Guest for Bradley Andrews) 5(5), Ryan Terry-Daley 5(5), Richard Andrews 2+1(6), Macauley Leek 1(3), Jamie Bursill (No. 8) Did not ride, Rider Replacement for Henry Atkins. – 41