Martin Dugard has put a sickening debut crash for teen ace Tom Brennan down to inexperience.

But the Eastbourne Eagles chairman believes the British 250cc champion did enough in about 15 seconds of racing to underline his National League promise.

Brennan, racing on his 15th birthday, suffered a broken collarbone in his first race for Eagles. In his absence, the depleted home team came from behind with a pair of late 5-1s from Adam Ellis and Jake Knight to defeat the previously unbeaten leaders Birmingham 46-43.

Ellis and Knight overturned a five-point deficit and Eagles also had a large slice of luck when Birmingham reserve Jack Smith fell on the last bend of heat 14 with his team yards from a 5-1 and overall victory.

But, once celebrations over the thrilling finale had subsided, team-mates and fans were quick to show concern for Brennan, who ended possibly the biggest day of his life in hospital (pictured).

The Argus:

Brennan, off gate three, was squeezed out off the start by Brummies pair Smith and Jack Parkinson-Blackburn.

His attempt to cut back inside them on bend two was blocked by his own team-mate Luke Harris, who had chosen the same line.

Still Brennan was quick enough to get back into the battle. But, as he went into bend one second time around, he caught Harris’s back wheel and was sent hurtling into the air fence.

Mercifully, his cart-wheeling bike just missed him as he took cover.

Eagles chairman Dugard, who is Brennan’s racing mentor and took the bold decision to throw him into the meeting, said: “It was an unfortunate accident. Inexperience would be the key part of it.

“Wanting to please everybody, which he wanted to do, would be another part of it. Another metre and he would have totally missed everybody.

“But he was coming down the straight much quicker than the other three and completely misjudged the entry to the corner.

“I think what he showed everybody is that he is ready to race. It was purely a speedway accident.”

Eagles now have a three-week break between meetings, which is timely with Gary Cottham and Charley Powell also out injured.

Skipper Knight said of Brennan’s crash: “It was a little bit upsetting. You could see in his eyes he was hurt.

“He was brave. I give him all credit for getting up from that and walking back to the changing room. But, as soon as we got in the changing room, you could see the pain on his face. Hats off to the little fella. He is brilliant and he will come back stronger than ever.”

Unforced errors by Knight and the otherwise excellent Georgie Wood, both when leading, gifted Brummies the heat advantages which saw them go five points clear.

The Argus:

The heat two line-up is thought to be the youngest ever in British league speedway. From left Luke Harris, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn, Jack Smith and Tom Brennan

The short-handed hosts only had one rider in three races but wins for Ellis, twice, and Knight ensured they survived them with 3-3s.

Ellis equalled, then broke, his own National League track record and was in a class of his own.

Knight, unhappy at the bend-two misjudgement which cost him a win in his first outing, was an able sidekick. “The Turbo Twins are still here,” he said.

Eagles boss Connor Dugard was confident the top two could turn the meeting around late on. Knight revealed: “After my crash I said to myself, ‘Right, now I’ve got to go through the card unbeaten’.

“Connor said to us, ‘Heats 13 and 15 are where we go and win the meeting’ and we did it.”

Eagles: Ellis 15 (5), Knight 10+2 (5), Wood 9 (4), Hopwood 6+1 (5), Harris 6 (7), Brennan 0 (1), Cottham r/r.

Birmingham: Bacon 8+1 (4), Parkinson-Blackburn 8+1 (4), Perry 8+1 (5), Hume 8+1 (5), Ritchings 6+1 (4), Halsey 3+1 (4), Smith 2+1 (4).