Eastbourne Seagulls' teamwork secures draw with Kent Royals
Eastbourne Seagulls battled to a deserved draw at Kent Speedway on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon in the National Development League.
The 45-45 result gives the Seagulls, powered by Save Thurrock Hammers Speedway, two league points. They were never headed by the Kent Royals although they had no answer to the home team’s Dan Gilkes who cruised to a 15-point maximum.
Eastbourne made the best possible start when Connor King flew from the tapes to go on to win heat one with Jake Knight in second place, giving them a 5-1. It took until heat ten for the Royals to get back on terms with the match eventually going to a last heat decider.
Heat 15 ended with a win for Gilkes but with Nathan Ablitt and Jake Knight filling the minor places, the result was a draw.
Eastbourne co-promoter Lee Kilby said: “It was a terrific result. “Everybody contributed, which was the most pleasing thing. When you walk away with a draw and everyone has scored points, that is a complete team effort. There was great team spirit in the pits. People were moving around, helping each other. There was good communication between races. The boys did really well.”
He said Jake Knight did what they expected and Nathan Ablitt was “setting his bar nice and high”. “Connor [King] was the one today who stepped up with a paid ten return,” Kilby said. He said the strategy was to try and avoid last places and that was to a large extent achieved.
“That was the key. They dug in. “We said if you are in a heat with Ryan Kinsley and Dan Gilkes, and they trap and are gone, we said just sit in, be sensible, be happy with second and third and just consolidate. “They did that brilliantly,” Kilby said.
Scorers: Kent Royals: Ryan Kinsley 10 (5), Jacob Clouting 1 (4), Daniel Gilkes 15 (5), Jamie Couzins 0 (3), Rob Ledwith 4 (4), Josh Warren 1 (3), Jake Mulford 14 (6).
Eastbourne Seagulls: Jake Knight 10+2 (5), Connor King 7+3 (4), Chad Wirtzfeld 3+1 (4), Danno Verge 6+2 (4), Richard Andrews 5+1 (4), Nick Laurence 2+2 (3), Nathan Ablitt 12 (6).