Georgie Wood put pressing family matters firmly to the back of his mind to send Eastbourne title hopes soaring last night.

The IT First Eagles heat-leader, whose partner Lauren is due to give birth today, shared in five race advantages as his track beat Birmingham 50-37 in the first leg of the National League Grand Final.

The second leg is at Perry Barr on Wednesday, when the league title will be decided.

Schoolboy racer Tom Brennan also played a massive part for a home track, who closed with four successive 4-2s.

And Adam Ellis, after a rare slip in the opening race, won four of four from then on.

The contest is by no means over but Eagles will happily take a 13-point buffer for their trip to the league leaders.

The Arlington outfit will not have Wood, whose highly competitive racing style stood out in an exciting meeting, available for the trip to the second city. The baby will be induced on Wednesday if she has not arrived by then.

Wood said: “Lauren was at the track with me.

“I was just waiting for somebody to run into the pits and tell me the baby was coming!

“I can’t ride on Wednesday and some people are little bit upset.

“But I can’t miss this for the world.

“I tried to get some points to make the second leg a bit easier.

“I really enjoyed it. It’s probably the hardest I’ve ridden in my career.

“I think we were nervous at the start. We were all feeling it.

“From the minute I swung my leg over the bike I was so nervous.

“But I tried to get my head down and focus.

“I tried a little bit too hard at times but that’s racing.

“We set our target for a 15-point lead which is quite high. We nearly got there.”

Both sides will be tempted to dwell on points thrown away in the first leg.

Eagles built their lead after what had looked like a dream start but quickly turned into a nightmare.

Birmingham’s guest James Shanes span on bend one of the opening race and was excluded.

But Ellis fell on the last lap when leading the re-run.

Before he got back aboard, team-mate Charley Powell clipped the back of Jack Smith trying to pass.

Powell was excluded – and so was Ellis as he was not under power at the time of the stoppage, gifting Smith a 3-0.

Then Powell fell in second place in heat two, with Smith and Jack Parkinson-Blackburn going back out to dominate the re-run until the final bend. That was when Brennan lit the fuse of the comeback by darting inside Parkinson-Blackburn in the final yards to limit Brummies to a 4-2.

The hosts were transformed and four heat advantages followed in the next five races.

Heat six was probably the highlight as 15-year-old Brennan delighted the crowd.

Ellis gated and held the inside line and Brennan came outside to superbly hold off Tom Perry all the way.

Wood passed Tom Bacon for a heat win and Powell did his bit in another thriller when the hosts claimed a 4-2 in heat seven as skipper Jake Knight led them home.

The home lead was 23-16 at that stage but Brummies replied with an awarded 5-1 as Wood knocked off Bacon attempting to pass for the lead.

That took some wind out of home sails for a while – but not for long.

They reeled off 4-2s in each of the last four heats.

Heat 14 was another cracker, Wood charging around the outside of Parkinson-Blackburn and Brennan pushing all the way in third.

Brennan had a pass on the inside of Smith in heat 12 and can be hugely proud of his part in proceedings.

Eagles: Wood 12+1 (6), Ellis 12 (5), Knight 9 (4), Perks 8 (4), Brennan 7+1 (7), Powell 2+1 (4), Cottham r/r.

Birmingham: Parkinson-Blackburn 9+1 (6), Bacon 8+1 (5), Shanes 8 (5), Smith 6 (5), Perry 4+1 (4), Ritchings 2 (4), Hume r/r.