Monday, 22 June 2015

Eastbourne Eagles 50 v 39 Birmingham Brummies

Sunday 21st June 2015
National League Speedway Knock Out Cup Quarter Final Second Leg
Eastbourne Eagles won 92-86 on aggregate
Arlington Stadium, Hailsham
Admission: £12.00
Programme: £2.00
Attendance: 700 (estimate)
Match Rating: 2

I headed over to Arlington today for another taste of speedway, meaning I have been to each home meeting of the Eastbourne Eagles since my first ever meeting last month. Vagaries of the fixture calendar, though, means this would be the last home fixture for almost a month.

This promised to be an intriguing and nail-biting meeting, arguably between two of the better teams in the division, both having competed in the Elite League last season, and this being the second leg of the National League Knock Cup Quarter Final, with today's visitors, the Birmingham Brummies, bringing a five point lead from the first leg, having secured a 47-42 victory. The feeling was that they should have built up a healthier lead though, with the Eagles seemingly invincible at home this season, with 12 points the narrowest margin of victory.

On a mainly overcast but breezy afternoon, this meeting turned out to be something of a disappointment, a stop start affair with frequent breaks for track maintenance, several heats being stopped due to crashes and the start lights causing a lengthy stoppage for a fault to be repaired. The Brummies actually extended their aggregate lead to seven points after the first heat, but immediately the Eagles got right back in the match with a 5-1 to cut the lead back to two. The next three heats were drawn, before the Eagles made their move into the lead, claiming 5-1's in the sixth and eighth heats, sandwiching a 3-3 draw, as the Eagles opened up a ten point lead on the day, and five point lead overall, after eight heats.

In the remaining heats, Eastbourne did just enough to see the meeting out as, despite only two of the seven heats were won by an Eastbourne rider, Birmingham only won the final heat, and indeed this was a theme of the afternoon. Birmingham had the two highest scorers overall in Adam Ellis and Tom Perry, all of Eastbourne's riders contributed, whereas Birmingham's lower team members scored poorly or failed to finish...or even start. So, it was job done for the Eagles, who progressed to a two legged semi final against local rivals, the Kent Kings, but in truth, a meeting that promised much excitement turned out to be a rather dull, stop start event that meandered disjointedly to a home win.

No comments: