EAGLES v FEN TIGERS OFF

Tonight’s  (September 22) National League speedway match between the Eastbourne Forman IT Eagles and the Mildenhall Fen Tigers at Arlington Stadium has been postponed because of rain. No re-staging date has been set as yet.

Matchday update: Weather is grey, overcast at 9.30pm in East Sussex.

We will update this if the match is postponed.

Here’s our usual Kevin Ling preview.

Eastbourne ‘Forman IT’ Eagles face not just one but potentially two opponents at Arlington Stadium this weekend as they bid to complete their league itinerary around their home circuit ahead of the end of season Play Offs.

If they are able to see off the challenge of heavy rain that is forecast to sweep across the South Coast throughout Saturday afternoon, the second, ever more imposing adversary they face is that of the Mildenhall Fen Tigers.

Having remained unbeaten at home so far in 2018 (one match against the Birmingham Brummies still to come), the Suffolk outfit have, impressively, triumphed in all eight of their travelling engagements so far this term.

A further victory in Sussex would potentially see them complete a clean sweep, a phenomenal achievement, no one could deny.

Eastbourne will of course be all out to ensure that does not occur and that the Fen Tigers, hot favourites to wrest all silverware, will have at least one blight on an otherwise perfect record.

One crumb of comfort they will draw is that the Eagles have already beaten their great rivals once this season, that occasion proving a 50-39 National Trophy success back in the latter part of June.

Though that result would not have been welcome by the side from West Row, they did not let it knock them unduly off course as they have since secured that trophy courtesy of home and away victories against the Cradley Heathens.

Mildenhall’s only other defeat this season came at Birmingham, a 37-34 reverse in the Knockout Cup. The Record books show that they subsequently overcame that deficit in the return leg however and now they await the winners of this coming week’s Semi-Final match-up between Eastbourne and Kent in the competition Final.

The Fen Tigers have suffered their casualties throughout the season but to their credit they have emerged triumphantly every time and continued their winning ways.

They look set to complete the season without either of the two riders who started the year at the top of the order. Danny Ayres and Josh Bailey are both currently sidelined, former National League Riders Champion Ben Morley deputising in place of Ayres while the Rider Replacement facility will be utilised for Bailey.

Elsewhere the Fen Tigers will not be found lacking however; all eyes will surely be on Drew Kemp, their new jewel in the crown, who has been scoring for fun throughout the season.

Ryan Kinsley is another who has risen to prominence in no small way in 2018 while Jordan Jenkins is now riding back to form having suffered a serious back injury earlier in the campaign.

Matt Marson and Sam Bebee form an imposing duo in the reserve berth of the side, all good and valid reasons why Eastbourne will need to be at the top of their game if they are to overcome the Fen Tigers (and the weather) on Saturday night.    

Teams: (in alphabetical order)

Eagles: Rider Replacement for Mark Baseby, Tom Brennan, Charlie Brooks, Kelsey Dugard (Guest for Charley Powell), Jason Edwards, Ethan Spiller, Georgie Wood.

Fen Tigers: Rider Replacement for Josh Bailey, Sam Bebee, Jordan Jenkins, Drew Kemp, Ryan Kinsley, Matt Marson, Ben Morley (Guest for Danny Ayres). 



Paul Watson