Eastbourne ended their season with silverware last night – as they lifted the Knockout Cup.

The IT First Eagles clawed back a six-point deficit from the first leg to win 52-38 and beat arch rivals Birmingham on aggregate with one race to spare.

They did so despite a supershow from opposing reserve Jack Parkinson-Blackburn, who won six of his seven races for exactly half of his team’s points.

He even took the chequered flag in the race which settled the overall contest.

That was in heat 14 – but Georgie Wood’s second place ensured the two-leg final would not go to its final race.

Birmingham beat the Arlington outfit to the National League title and these have been the best two tracks in the third tier.

Eagles would have fancied their chances of taking the cup anyway but were handed some assistance by a Birmingham administrative error last night.

Brummies only tracked five riders after guest James Shanes was denied permission to ride by referee Paul Carrington. The Kent racer also guested for Brummies at Arlington in the first leg of the play-off final a week earlier.

Guests are not permitted to visit the same track with an away team twice inside eight days.

The visitors were already running rider-replacement for the absent Danyon Hume so had to tackle three races with only one rider.

Carrington checked with the Speedway Control Bureau and had no option but to rule out Shanes. He confirmed Eastbourne did not make an objection to Shanes' involvement.

Still, Parkinson-Blackburn kept the home champagne on ice.

Eagles pair Adam Ellis and Tom Brennan eased to a 5-1 over lone Brummie rider Jack Smith in heat one.

They led 23-13 on the night after heat six.

But Parkinson-Blackburn, riding without a team-mate, stopped their momentum by beating Ellis Perks and Wood for a 3-3.

He then led the way in a 4-2 in heat eight after his principle pursuer Wood fell on bend four first time around to cut Eagles’ aggregate lead to two points The door opened for Birmingham when Perks fell in heat nine - but Wood won the re-run.

Alarm bells rang again in heat ten as Ellis, off gate four, was beaten to the first bend by Tom Bacon, on the inside. But the home No.1 lined his man up off bend two on the final laps and powered inside to lead a 4-2, with Brennan ahead of Daryl Ritchings for third.

Ellis and Knight shared a 5-1 in heat 13 over Tom Perry to leave Eagles on the brink of aggregate success.

They had it secured by the time Knight finished things with a flourish, passing Bacon to win heat 15.

Eagles chairman Martin Dugard felt it was a job – and season – well done. He said: “I thought we rode well.

“We were disappointed to lose in the league but I have got to say Birmingham were the better side over the two legs.

“We started the season quite horribly but we have turned it around and come away as winners.”

Dugard had sympathy for Birmingham over the Shanes episode but said Eastbourne had raised no objection.

He said: “Half an hour before the meeting there was a rumour going around that he was not allowed to ride. It’s unfortunate for a final.”

Eagles: Knight 14 (5), Ellis 12+1 (5), Brennan 9+3 (6), Wood 9+1 (5), Perks 6+1 (4), Powell 2+1 (5), Cottham r/r.

Birmingham: Parkinson-Blackburn 19 (7), Perry 7 (5), Smith 4+2 (5), Bacon 4+1 (6), Ritchings 4 (4), Hume r/r.