Friday 12 May, 2017
STOKE make the long trek South to Sussex to face last seasons’ National League KO Cup holders Eastbourne Eagles in the Travel Plus National League at Arlington on Saturday night, 7.30pm.

The A.R. Richards Potters will be unchanged for the clash at the tight Arlington Stadium circuit and will be going in to the meeting in good form with wins at Buxton a fortnight ago and victory over league champions Birmingham at Loomer Road last Saturday. Skipper Tony Atkin said “Eastbourne is a very technical track and we could do with the weather being against them a little and for it to be a wet night and not their usual conditions and you do not know what might happen then. We feel we can keep up with most teams now and we will be going there with every intention of getting something out of the meeting.”

Eastbourne are led into action by Mark Baseby who will have good support from Georgie Wood and former Potter Ben Hopwood who steps into the IT First Eagles line-up as a guest for Connor Coles who is riding for Newcastle in the SGB Championship which form a formidable heat leader trio around the Sussex circuit. Matthew Bates and Kelsey Dugard complete the top five while at reserve Charley Powell links up with Eagles youngster Tom Brennan who has been in superb form this season recently top scoring for the Eagles.

Stoke team manager Malcolm Vasey commented “I feel we have enough experience in our line-up to give anyone a good match even Eastbourne around their home track, they have a whizz kid reserve in Tom Brennan who is going extremely well and is a very good reserve and being Eastbourne they have a number of other very good riders in their camp. It will be a very hard match on a very technical track that is different at one end to the other and our lads are absolutely full of momentum and feel that it is their destiny to do something good this season and I would not bet against them, but it will be a very hard match and respect to Eastbourne they are a very good team on their home circuit and we will see what happens but we are looking to go there and gain something out of the meeting.”

EASTBOURNE: Mark Baseby, Kelsey Dugard, Ben Hopwood, Matthew Bates, Georgie Wood, Charley Powell, Tom Brennan
STOKE: Mitchell Davey, Shaun Tedham, Ryan Terry-Daley, Tony Atkin, Luke Priest, David Speight, David Wallinger