Eastbourne Eagles 58-32 Kent Kings
Eastbourne Eagles 58-32 Kent Kings

It was a throwback to days gone by as the Kent TouchTec Kings headed to Arlington, to take on the Eastbourne Eagles on a Sunday afternoon local derby, in the Knock-Out Cup.

It was a day at the races for the home side whilst the away fans may have wished they’d had a day at the Sussex seaside as, the Kings went down to a heavy twenty-six point defeat 58-32 in this first leg.

It was really a case of two holding the Kings’ Castle with captain Scott Nicholls and fellow heat leader Paul Starke accounting for 22 of those points.

It was a disastrous start for the visitors as they went down to four successive 5-1 heat advantages in the opening four races. The second race saw an unfortunate coming together in the first turn between two former Kings – home reserve Drew Kemp who hotfooted it back from Gdansk and Kent Guest Jack Thomas.  The race was re-run with all four back and again a dramatic first bend saw both Kent riders falling – with Morley pulling onto the centre green and Thomas remounting to take the solitary point behind the home reserve duo of Kemp and race winner Jason Edwards. 

There was a brief respite in the fifth heat when the Kings’ captain Scott Nicholls make the start and pull away from the chasing Lewis Kerr who was close for the first lap. By the end of the seventh race the visitors had slipped to 22 points behind. In that seventh race the visitors were handily places for a vital share of the points but Tom Bacon came down on the first corner as the riders started the second lap, and earned an exclusion for his troubles. The restaging saw Kent’s Paul Starke split the home duo of Richard Lawson and Edwards.

There was drama in the eighth and ninth races.  In the eighth Paul Hurry came down on the first corner and was put back in. Then in the second staging Kemp came down and looked for a re-run that wasn’t forthcoming, so he eventually remounted to continue – this allowed a share of the spoils with Hurry and Thomas filling the minor places behind the very impressive Tom Brennan taking his third race win of the afternoon. In the ninth heat , Kent guest Broc Nicol gated but was passed down the back straight by Kyle Newman but the home skipper Kerr hit the air fence into bend three and was thrown off his bike. He was withdrawn with suspected collarbone injuries.

In the re-run the visitors gated but Newman, was not about to let Kent back into the tie, passing Nicol on the backstraight of the opening lap and Morley, on the inside of bends three and four on the penultimate lap  to keep the gap at 22 points.

There was a three-race salvo for the Kings where Paul Starke twice and Scott Nicholls took heat wins but there was no back up as each race was shared so the gap remained. Starke producing starts to marvel at for his two wins.

After the Eagles added another six to their advantage, the last race saw Nicholls and Starke combine for Kent’s first heat advantage in the shape of a 4-2 to leave the gap at 26 at the mid-point in this Knock-Out Cup tie.

Next up for the Kings is the visit of Glasgow Tigers on Tuesday (8/6) as they look for revenge as Glasgow defeated Kent in the opening match of the 2021 SGB Championship season.

Eastbourne Eagles 58

1.Edward Kennett – 2′, 2′, 1′, 1 = 6+3

2. Tom Brennan – 3, 3, 3, 2, 2 = 13

3. Kyle Newman – 2′, 1′, 3, 1′ = 7+3

4. Lewis Kerr – 3, 2, Fx = 5 Withdrawn

5. Richard Lawson – 3, 3, 2, 3, 0 = 11

6. Jason Edwards – 3, 1, 1′, 2′ = 7+2

7. Drew Kemp – 2′, 2′, 0, 2, 3 = 9+2

Kent TouchTec Kings 32

1. Scott Nicholls – 1, 3, 3, 2, 3 = 12

2. Paul Hurry – 0, 0, 2 = 2

3. Paul Starke – 1, 2, 3, 3, 1 = 10

4. Tom Bacon – 0, Fx, R = 0

5. Broc Nicol (Guest) – 1, 1, 1′, 0 = 3+1

6. Ben Morley – R, R, 2, 0, R, 1= 3

7. Jack Thomas (Guest) – 1, 0, 1′, 0 = 2+1

Heat Details

1.       Brennan, Kennett, Nicholls, Hurry 56.7  5-1

2.       Edwards, Kemp, Thomas (fell rem), Morley (fell ret) 10-2 59.2

3.       Kerr, Newman, Starke, Bacon, 15-3 57.0

4.       Lawson, Kemp, Nicol, Thomas, 20-4 57.9

5.       Nicholls, Kerr, Newman, Hurry, 23-7 57.3

6.       Brennan, Kennett, Nicol, Morley (ret) 28-8 58.3

7.       Lawson, Starke, Edwards, Bacon (FX) 32-10 58.1

8.       Brennan, Hurry, Thomas, Kemp, 35-13 57.6

9.       Newman, Morley, Nicol, Kerr (FX) 38-16 58.6

10.   Starke, Brennan, Kennett, Bacon (ret) 41-19 58.3

11.   Nicholls, Lawson, Edwards, Morley 44-22 58.0

12.   Starke, Kemp, Newman, Morley (ret) 47-25 58.1

13.   Lawson, Nicholls, Kennett, Nicol 51-27 57.7

14.   Kemp, Edwards, Morley, Thomas 56-28 59.8

15.   Nicholls, Brennan, Starke, Lawson 58-32 58.8