Devils V Eagles Preview
Having qualified for the semi-final stage of the National League Knock Out Cup as far back as June the Plymouth Devils finally stage the meetings this weekend. In back to back clashes the Devils host Eastbourne on Friday at the St Boniface Arena before making the journey to Sussex on Saturday night for the second leg.
The overall winners will meet with Belle Vue or Mildenhall in the Final so the Devils will be all out to get a good lead on Friday night to defend at Arlington.
The Eagles travel without Josh Bailey, on Championship duty for his club Scunthorpe and bring in Plymouth track specialist and former Devil Ben Hopwood . He will also be in the second leg on Saturday in place of Georgie Wood who has the Championship play-off semi-final for Sheffield at Ipswich. Additionally in the 2nd leg Ben Morley comes in for No. 1 Jake Knight , who has been served with a two home match suspension for not riding in the National league Riders Championship at Leicester last Sunday.
The Eagles are also without reserve Charlie Saunders using Devonian Stevie Anderson in the first leg on Friday but bring in Under 16 British Champion Drew Kemp as a guest on Saturday.
The Devils have also been hit by the loss of regular reserve guest Jamie Halder, who has impressed in his appearances , as controversially he has had his average reassessed to 3.65 from 3 and this makes him ineligible to guest and basically ends the 18 year old’s 2017 season. He had been used by Birmingham, Eastbourne, Buxton, Mildenhall and Plymouth and a ruling introduced last year has been implemented . The Devils were looking at their options to ride in the No. 6 berth after this shock move.
Team Manager Laurence Rogers is bemused at the ruling, “ I was under the impression this rule was for new riders not in teams and not for a rider who had an established average. This is how all the people I have spoken to have read it and it has led to some youngsters only doing three league matches to stop them establishing a real average so they start next season on a 3. But no one knew that it could be implemented on a rider like Jamie who was dropped by his club Buxton and became an unattached three pointer able to be used by other clubs. Basically this has stopped the lad from riding and he missed the early part of the season to concentrate on his exams and education. We appealed the decision but seem to have got nowhere with that and it is very unfair on him. “
“Mark and I are considering our options for the K O Cup matches and next week for the National Trophy Finals.”
There is a Southern Development League match after the cup semi-final with Weymouth Wildacts taking on the newly crowned inaugural SDL champions the Reading Racers.
PLYMOUTH DEVILS :
• ADAM ROYNON
• RICHARD ANDREWS
• BENJI COMPTON ©
• CALLUM WALKER
• STEVE BOXALL
• HENRY ATKINS
EASTBOURNE IT FIRST EAGLES
• JAKE KNIGHT
• TOM BRENNAN
• JOSH BAILEY
• CHARLEY POWELL
• GEORGIE WOOD ©
• Stevie Anderson g
• MATT BATES
TM : CONOR DUGARD
SDL WEYMOUTH WILDCATS V READING RACERS
• Chris Bambury
• Craig Nethercott
TM: JAMES TRESADERN + MARTIN PETERS
• Tom Brennan
• Stephen Whitehouse
• Stevie Anderson
TM : GENE CARTER + MAT STEVENS
125CC DEMOS: BEN TRIGGER, LEO RIXON, ZACH DAVEY, SAM PETERS
ADMISSION : ADULTS £10; CHILD 10-16 AND STUDENTS £5; UNDER 10’S FREE. FAMILY TICKET £25 (2A +2c) ; PROGRAMME £2.50
CATERING AND BAR FACILITIES