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Bandits fail to get to grips with Arlington 65-25

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Eastbourne Eagles 65
Berwick "Mike Hope of Wooler Ltd." Bandits (Powered by Clear Energy Consulting) 25
SGB Championship

Racing a rare Saturday night away from home, the Berwick "Mike Hope of Wooler Ltd." Bandits (Powered by Clear Energy Consulting) rekindled an age-old rivalry at the newly reinstated Championship member, Eastbourne Eagles last night at the small and tight Arlington circuit (and sadly ended in a score reminiscent of the 1970s), but for Bandits' number two, Jye Etheridge, his first race had to take a longer wait as he hit the tapes resulting in his Heat One exclusion.

In the re-run Leon Flint came in for the punished Aussie, however Aaron Summers just briefly twitched at the gate and lost ground as Edward Kennett and Ben Morley flew off for a home 5-1, however Berwick's guest (in for Coty Garcia) had engine trouble at the gate in Heat Two, missing the two-minute allowance and had to go from the 15 metre mark in the rerun, but another Eagles' 5-1 went into the pot as Georgie Wood and Alfie Bowtell made no mistake to beat Flint out of the gate with the home side leading 10-2.

The troublesome match continued with Heat Three coming to a halt on the first bend after a very tight entry between Kevin Doolan (pictured above (c) TazMcd Photography) and Lewis Kerr, with both ramming hard into the air fence. The referee called for an all four re-run, but while Doolan finally got to his feet to walk back to the pits, the ambulance was called for Kerr, although he did manage to walk into it to be taken off the track and was then transferred to the county ambulance.

Both were then withdrawn from the meeting due to their injuries. and injury rider replacement implemented for both, Bowtell came in for Kerr and Jenkins for Doolan in anther 5-1 for Eastbourne's Kyle Newman and Bowtell over Dany Gappmaier as Berwick now trailed by 12 points.

Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen broke Berwick's run of solo points winning Heat Four taking advantage of Wood's error on the last lap to win well in a shared 3-3, as was Heat Five won by a revived Summers over Morley taking the scores to 21-9 with Jakobsen taking the sixth well over Kennett in another share of the spoils.

However the Eagles' 5-1s were back in Heat Seven as Lawson and Bowtell ended Jakobsen's great run while Jenkins fell on the second lap as the race was awarded another enthralling home 5-1 as Berwick slumped to a 34-14 deficit only half way through a disappointing night. Newman came to grief in Heat Nine while in second place as Wood took the win over Jakobsen and Flint in a 3-3.

The winning blow for Eastbourne came as early as Heat 10 Kennett and Morley ran to an easy home maximum over Gappmaier and Flint taking the score to 42-18 and a gap too far for Berwick to make up over the last five races.

Jenkins fell once more in Heat 12 going under his team mate for the night, Gappmaier taking him out, thankfully both were up quickly and Jenkins excluded from the re-run which ended a 5-1 extending the home lead to 50-22 while another 5-1 from Lawson and Kennett in Heat 13 over Busk Jakobsen and Summers put 32 points between the sides, which went up to 36 when Newman and Bowtell did the maximum-job over Gappmaier and Flint, the score with one to go now 60-24, and not surprisingly the final heat 5-1 ended the night an unfortunate 65-25

Team manager Gary Flint said: "The disastrous early heats, especially losing Captain Kev in Heat Three really hit us hard and pulled the rug from under our rhythm right at the start which on a small and slick track like Eastbourne was always going to be tricky to come back from. Night to forget, time to move on!"

Individual Riders' Score Chart:

Eastbourne Eagles 65

1 Edward Kennett (c) 3,2,3,2*,3 = 13+1
2 Ben Morley 2*,2,1*,2*,2* = 9+4
3 Kyle Newman 3,1*,F,3,3 = 10+1
4 Lewis Kerr FN,N,N,N = 0 withdrawn injured
5 Richard Lawson 2,3,3,3,2* = 13+1
6 Alfie Bowtell (r) 2*,2*,2*,0,2* = 8+4
7 Georgie Wood (r) 3,1*,3,3,2* = 12+2

Berwick "Mike Hope of Wooler Ltd." Bandits (Powered by Clear Energy Consulting) 25

1 Aaron Summers 1,3,2,0 = 6
2 Jye Etheridge E,0,1,1* = 2+1
3 Kevin Doolan (c) FN,N,N,N = 0 withdrawn injured
4 Dany Gappmaier 1,0,1,1,1,0 = 4
5 Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen 3,3,1,2,1,1 = 11
6 Jordan Jenkins (guest) (r) 0,0,0,0,Fx = 0
7 Leon Flint (r) 0,1,0,1*,0,0 = 2+1