The Eastbourne Eagles have retained the National League KO Cup with a 52-38 win over Birmingham at Arlington Stadium last night (30 October).
They took the trophy 94-86 on aggregate, after losing by six points earlier in the month at the Brummies’ Perry Bar track.
IT First Eagles chairman, Martin Dugard, said, “This has made the heartache of losing the league title at Birmingham a little bit easier to swallow.
“I have to say we rode well tonight and deserved the result. I am very pleased with it.”
Birmingham’s plans were thrown into confusion an hour or so before tapes after their plan to use Kent’s James Shanes as a guest at No 1 was ruled illegal.
Shanes had ridden at Arlington the previous Sunday for the Brummies and the rules precluded him riding a second time within eight days.
It meant Birmingham tracked only one rider in three heats.
Dugard said, “The rulebook caught out Birmingham. We were not aware of the situation, so it seems very weird situation that no-one seemed to notice. We didn’t know anything about it. We were quite happy for it to go ahead.
“The inkling we got was that all of a sudden, James Shanes was not allowed to ride.
“We asked Graham Drury (the Birmingham team manager) the reason why and he said on five occasions it had been done elsewhere, which we agree with.
“It wasn’t something we did. It was something that had come through from the powers that be to Graham. Eastbourne did not protest.
“I have to say it was lucky for us on the night and I have to say I think Birmingham were treated quite harshly for what they did.”
EASTBOURNE 52: Jake Knight 14, Adam Ellis 12+1, Tom Brennan 9+3, Georgie Wood 9+1, Ellis Perks 6+1, Charley Powell 2+1, Gary Cottham r/r.
BIRMINGHAM 38: Jack Parkinson-Blackburn 19, Tom Perry 7, Jack Smith 4+2, Tom Bacon 4+1, Darryl Ritchings 4, Danyon Hume r/r.
Photo credit: Eastbourne IT Eagles
Well done to lads at Eastbourne eagles speedway national league knockout cup winners 2016 pic.twitter.com/JJk4A2Dis5— Shiny Signs & Shirts (@ShinySigns) October 30, 2016