Eagles are on the pace in first leg of Gold Cup

Richard Andrews celebrates
Richard Andrews celebrates

Eastbourne Eagles great end-of-season form continued on Wednesday night with a 47-43 win in the first leg of the Gold Cup.

The victory at Birmingham puts them in a great position to lift another trophy at Arlington when the second leg is staged on Saturday night.

Eagles’ team manager Glenn Martin was thrilled with his team’s performance on Wednesday.

“It was an absolutely brilliant to do that on the league champion’s own track.

“We have had some great performances in recent weeks but this was something special. It puts us in a great position for the second leg.”

Last Sunday, Eastbourne won the National Trophy, defeating Rye House home and away in the final.

Martin said: “Our riders are in wonderful form and now have the taste of success. They like it and want more and are determined to get the job done at Arlington.

“For some of them, this could be a once-in-a-career time. With the Knock Out cup final still to come, they could end up winning three trophies in a month.

“They are totally motivated to bring more success to Eastbourne. They are riding as a team and that’s always important but even more so in a cup final.

Saturday’s match at Arlington begins at 7.30pm with the Eagles looking for another large crowd to cheer the team to success.

“Fans were right behind the team last Sunday when we beat Rye House,” Martin said.

“You could feel the atmosphere as we closed in on victory and to get that done with five races to spare was a wonderful achievement.”

He warned supporters that he expected Birmingham to take Saturday’s match right to the wire.

At one stage the IT First Eagles were 14 points clear in the first leg but the home side pulled back much of that advantage over the last three heats to only bring only a four-point lead deficit to Arlington.

Martin said: “Birmingham will think they can overturn that and will, like Rye House, throw everything at us in the opening stages.

“We must keep our nerve on Saturday night.”

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