The Eastbourne Eagle will look to close the gap on the National League leaders when Belle Vue Colts visit Arlington Stadium tonight (17 June).
The junior team from Manchester head the table on 20 points from eight matches with the Eagles tucked in second place with 15 points from five matches.
“We are right in touch with the Colts,” said team manager Connor Dugard. “This is our chance to close that gap so we are out to get three points and make sure Belle Vue go back to Manchester with no reward. We need to be right on top of our game and prove we can beat any team in the National League.”
Tonight sees 15-year-old Tom Brennan jump from a reserve to the club’s No 1.
The switch is dictated by some great performances but both he, and the club, know he will be facing some tougher races following his promotion.
To help the transition, Dugard has moved the vastly experienced Mark Baseby to the No 2 slot meaning he will accompany Brennan in three of his four programmed ride.
It will also be the seasonal home debut for last year’s captain Jake Knight who slots in at No 5, meaning he will ride with Brennan in heat 13.
Other commitments in a higher league mean that some regular Belle Vue Colts will be missing but the club’s management have put together a septet, including former Eagle Ben Hopwood, which Dugard believes will be a tough test for his side.
Eagles: Tom Brennan, Mark Baseby, Georgie Wood, Mattie Bates, Jake Knight, Taylor Hampshire (G), Charley Powell.
Colts: Liam Carr (for Dan Bewley), R/R for Lee Payne, Dan Greenwood (for Jack Smith), Kyle Bickley, Ben Hopwood (for Rob Shuttleworth), Andy Mellish, Luke Woodhull, No 8: Ben Woodhull.