Eagles confident of progress despite injury to star rider

Eastbourne Eagles
Eastbourne Eagles

Eastbourne continue their defence of the National League KO Cup on Saturday (June 2) when they face Coventry in the quarter final, second leg, at Arlington Stadium.

The Midlands club head south with a two-point advantage from the first leg but the Forman IT Eagles are confident of overturning the deficit and going through to the semi-final.

The Sussex outfit, who have won the cup for the last three years, will be without Charley Powell, who has been in rock solid form in the engine room of the team at No 4.

Powell was injured in his opening heat of last Friday’s National League match at Belle Vue, where the Eagles lost 46-44 to the Colts.

Powell suffered a broken collarbone but is hoping to have the injury plated.

Team manager Connor Dugard said: “Obviously, it is going to be harder for us without Charley. He has been in good form this season and we will miss him.

“However, I think our first leg performance still give us a great chance to go through.

“I expect we will make the semis but it will be harder without Charley and we cannot afford any slip-ups or further injuries during Saturday’s meeting.”

He added that Powell was targeting a return to the side in mid June.

Dugard also shuffles his riding order following the release of new averages.

Georgie Wood move is expected to take the No 1 position with Tom Brennan at No 5 and Mark Baseby at No 3.

Fifteen-year-old Jason Edwards’ early season form catapults him from reserve to No 2 with Kelsey Dugard dropping down to the order to form the reserve pairing with Charlie Brooks.

The rider replacement rule will be utilised on Saturday to cover Powell’s rides. Both reserves are eligible, along with Edwards, who can take just one.

Teams (to be confirmed):

Eastbourne: Georgie Wood, Jason Edwards, Mark Baseby, rider replacement for Charley Powell, Tom Brennan, Kelsey Dugard, Charlie Brooks.

Coventry: Connor Mountain, Luke Harris, Luke Ruddick, Danny Phillips, Jon Armstrong, Jamie Halder, Ryan MacDonald.

Teenage hotshot Tom Brennan will be one of two Great Britain representatives in the FIM European Under-19 Semi-Final at Pardubice on Thursday, July 5.

He will head to the Czech Republic, along with Kyle Bickley, looking to provide more British success in the event won by Robert Lambert last year.

Brennan and Bickley will both have a tough task as they aim to progress to the Final in Finland in August.

Newly crowned British Under-19 Champion Dan Bewley declined an offer to compete in the competition in order to concentrate on qualifying for the World and European Under-21 Finals.

Last Friday, the Forman IT Eagles narrowly lost at Belle Vue by 46-44 in a National League match.

The performance was good enough to secure the side a losing bonus league point.

The Eagles lost Charley Powell who fell in first ride and broke his collarbone.