Objective achieved. That was the immediate verdict of the Eastbourne Eagles management after a 45-45 draw in tonight’s (September 24) first leg KO Cup semi-final at Kent.
Team manager Connor Dugard set his team the task of victory, or keeping the score close enough to claw back in the second leg at Arlington on Saturday.
Eastbourne, brilliantly led by No 1 Georgie Wood, made a superb start, withstood a mid-meeting fightback from their hosts to leave things all square.
Dugard said: “We made a great start to the meeting. It gave us confidence for when the going got tough later on.
“We really fought hard tonight and got the result we deserved. Georgie was inspirational.
“Obviously, this is only the half-way stage of the semi-final but we have given ourselves a fabulous chance to go through to the final.”
Scorers: Kent: Alex Spooner 13+2 (6), Ben Morley 13 (5), Jack Thomas 8 (5), Nathan Stoneman 6 (4), Anders Rowe 5+1 (4), Taylor Hampshire 0 (3), William O’Keefe 0 (3).
Eastbourne: Georgie Wood 16 (6), Tom Brennan 8 (6), Jason Edwards 7+1 (5), Charley Powell 6+2 (5), Ethan Spiller 6 (4), Charlie Brooks 2+1 (4). No 8: Rhys Laker dnr.
Eastbourne will ride against Coventry in the semi-final of the National League Play Offs to decide this year’s champions. The first leg will be at home on October 6, 7.30pm. The other semi-final will be between Mildenhall and Kent.
Georgie Wood and Mark Baseby will represent the Forman IT Eagles in the National League Riders’ Championship at Leicester on September 30.