Eastbourne Eagles 56-31 Kent Kings
Eastbourne Eagles 56-31 Kent Kings

A difficult 48 hours for the Kent SLYDE Kings continued as they went down to a 56-31 defeat at local rivals Eastbourne Eagles on Saturday night.

Troubles started for Kent on the morning of the match, as Taylor Hampshire withdrew after a bout of sickness overnight. The rider replacement facility was deployed for the 17 year old second string with regular reserve cover rider Jamie Couzins being used as the number 8.
Also missing for the Kings was number 1 Paul Hurry due to grasstrack commitments, his place was taken as a ‘Guest’ by former Eagle, Ellis Perks. A positive for Kent though was captain Jack Thomas returned to the fold after missing the defeat at Belle Vue the night before.
Hoping to banish memories of the 47 point defeat in the National Trophy fixture in June, Kent made the worst possible start to the fixture conceding a 5-1 heat advantage in the opening race as Kent born Georgie Wood and racing partner Jason Edwards got the better of Anders Rowe and the stand-in number one, Perks.
This opening was followed by an eventful Heat 2 which resulted in a rare 3-0 heat advantage in favour of the Kings as youngster William O’Keefe was last man standing. In the first staging Eagles German-based reserve Ethan Spiller came down on the second bend with Kings reserve Alex Spooner unable to avoid Spiller’s bike and also coming down.
In the second staging, Spooner gated but then suffered bike problems and retired, on the last bend of the second lap Eagles’ Charlie Brooks got too much grip and tumbled – the referee stopped the race and awarded the win to O’Keefe.
Eastbourne then took heat advantages in the next four heats (three 5-1’s and a 4-2) before a Heat 7 3-3 which saw Brennan pass Nathan Stoneman to take the win. Credit goes though to the Kent no. 8 Jamie Couzins (taking his second of three rider replacement rides) for holding off twice German national junior champion Spiller to claim a very creditable paid second over a rider who has experience in his homeland racing against the likes of SGP star Matej Zagar.
With the scores at 32-13, Heat 9 saw Kent get their second race winner in the shape of captain Jack Thomas. Thomas took the tapes to flag victory at the second time of asking – in the initial staging Eagles duo Charley Powell and Mark Baseby had a coming together in the first corner with both crashing.
The final six races followed a pattern of Eastbourne 4-2 heat advantages and 3-3 shared races, the most significant of these being Heat 14 when Kings second string Rowe finally got reward for his efforts with a fine tapes to flag win.
Heat 15 will be remembered for its post race shenanigans – during the race Eagles’ youngster Brennan tried to come around Perks, and Perks fairly but firmly shut the door. After the race Brennan showed his inexperience by venting his anger at the Kings’ guest – the teenager later in the night going onto social media for apologise for what he himself termed “idiotic behaviour”.


After two consecutive defeats on the road, it doesn’t get any easier for the Kent SLYDE Kings as they face league leaders, Mildenhall Fen Tigers at Central Park Stadium on Monday (3/9) at the usual start time of 6:30pm.