Devils V Eagles Preview
The Plymouth Devils open their National League home campaign on Friday night (April 21st) with a visit from Eastbourne Eagles .
The Sussex club had a highly successful 2016 season winning the Knock Out Cup and ending up as runners-up to Birmingham in the National League play-offs so will be all out to continue this in 2017.
They have a solid looking 1 to 7 with three riders retained from their previous campaign in new captain Georgie Wood and reserve duo Charley Powell and 16 year old Tom Brennan , who rode a handful of meetings at the end of the season .
Joining them are Devonian duo Connor Coles, son of Exeter legend Michael , who is doubling up with a team spot in the SGB Championship with Newcastle and former Plymouth rider Matt Bates . He has been snapped up to replace Adam Extance who has withdrawn after his knee was found to not be up to racing after a season out and operations. The Devils were interested in bringing Bates back to the St Boniface Arena but the averages just didn’t allow this and the National League track record holder will no doubt be out to show what he is capable of at his old track.
Recalled , after a year away from Eastbourne at the Isle of Wight, is Kelsey Dugard, son of promoter Martin and brother of Eagles team manager Connor. He forms an opening partnership with Mark Baseby , who was a team mate of Dugard and home man Lee Smart on the Island last year and a rider well known to Devils promoter Laurence Rogers, having ridden for him at Mildenhall and Coventry.
The Devils will be buoyed by their opening night performance and win over the Isle of Wight last week and looking to continue that form and open their account with three National League points and another victory.
Plymouth ….1. Steve Boxall. 2. Callum Walker. 3. Lee Smart. 4. Richard Andrews. 5. Benji Compton. 6. Rob Parker. 7. Henry Atkins
Eastbourne ….. 1. Mark Baseby. 2. Kesley Dugard 3. Connor Coles. 4. Matt Bates. 5. Georgie Wood. 6. Charley Powell. 7. Tom Brennan
Gates open 5.45 pm. Parade 7pm. First race 7.15pm. Admission Adults £10. Children (10-16) £5. Under 10’s FREE. Family ticket (2A = 2C) £25. Programmes £2.50.