Eastbourne Eagles impressive start to the season continued as they posted an emphatic win against King’s Lynn Young Stars at Arlington on Sunday.
However, the jubilation was tempered in no small way as popular Eagles duo, Marc Owen and Danny Warwick ended the day on the injured list.
With the Eagles on course for the win, Owen suffered a head injury, reportedly not concussion related, following a crash in heat five as he clipped the rear of visitors number one James Cockle’s as the pair crossed the line.
Owen received on-track attention from paramedics before walking back to the pits but could take no further part in the meeting.
Warwick’s misfortune would follow four races later, the recent Sussex Championship runner up ruled out of heat nine, with the Sussex side holding a 35-12 advantage, following an incident that witnessed a coming together between visitors Tom Stokes and Eagles reserve Georgie Wood, one that also left the latter nursing an ankle injury, though thankfully he was able to complete the meeting.
Not so fortunate was Warwick. A lengthy delay ensued while the rider was tended to before being ferried to hospital, early reports suggested a nasty neck injury, one that seems set to see him sidelined for a number of weeks.
Indeed, the adversity for Eastbourne could have been even worse with the impressive Richard Andrews also receiving on-track attention following a fall in the next race, one that also involved King’s Lynn’s Shane Hazelden, with visitors Josh Bailey also unable to avoid the melee.
The mood for the Eagles looked set to darken further as it seemed Andrews might also be ruled out of action, but, he would eventually rise to take his place and complete a paid maximum as he followed skipper David Mason home at the second time of asking, sharing a 5-1 that set the scores at an unassailable 43-15 in Eagles favour.
Though the 40-point spread that eventually separated might suggest something of a rout, the quality of racing was exceptional throughout and the meeting was peppered with incident and talking points.
Bradley Wilson-Dean again accentuated his rising star credentials with an impeccable 15-point maximum.
Much of that had to be crafted from the back, the defining moment of this, and arguably the whole meeting coming in heat thirteen when he rode around Cockle on the run in with Mason executing a similar manoeuvre on the inside track.
The duo shared Eagles’ eighth maximum win to move the scores to 57-19, one that set Arlington buzzing with excitement. Indeed, Mason was no less impressive throughout the afternoon.
The Eagles Captain only being denied a full house of his own after Cockle made a lightning start in the final race.
Injury worries took the shine off the Eastbourne IT First Eagles 64 – 24 win over King’s Lynn Young Stars in the National League this afternoon.
In their first ever meeting at this level, the home side totally dominated the match and provided all 15 heat winners.
The big worries were injuries to heat-leaders Danny Warwick and Marc Owen who both withdrew from the meeting after separate incidents.
Warwick was taken to hospital in Brighton with neck injuries while Owen suffered a head injury but was not taken to hospital.
Club chairman, Martin Dugard, said: “We are concerned about the injuries to both riders. Danny will be sidelined for a while.”
The Eagles are next in action on Wednesday when they ride in a National League match at defending champions, Cradley.
Dugard added: “It is too early to give any news about the team for the trip to the Midlands. We will see where we are on Monday morning.”
Kiwi hotshot Bradley Wilson-Dean scored a 15-point maximum in the win over King’s Lynn.
EASTBOURNE 64: Bradley Wilson-Dean 15, David Mason 12+1, Georgie Wood 11+2, Richard Andrews 9+3, Kelsey Dugard 8+1, Danny Warwick 5+1, Marc Owen 4.