Eastbourne Eagles were certainly taken to the wire by Wolverhampton at Arlington stadium last weekend but they face just as difficult a task this Saturday evening (7.30pm) as the Wolves near-neighbours and the Birmingham Brummies arrive.
The Eagles forced a last gasp win by a single point, 47-46, against the Monmore Green outfit courtesy of a penultimate race 4-2 from hardworking reserve Lukas Dryml and skipper Cameron Woodward before Bjarne Pedersen produced an ice cool effort to seal the deal, an all the way victory against Wolves heavy hitters Fredrik Lindgren and Tai Woffinden that wrapped up the match.
That one could well be described as too close to call but the Sussex side will be forced to keep their guard up as the Brummies arguably possess the credentials to provide just a stern a test.
Particularly as they have winter signing, multi British Champion, former Grand Prix exponent and Arlington track specialist Chris ‘Bomber’ Harris heading up their offensive.
Harris made the close season switch from the nearby Coventry Bees and he comes complete with an impressive back up cast that includes Team G.B. colleagues, Danny King and Ben Barker, both returnees from last terms Play Off qualifying septet. Australian Jason Doyle, an Elite League medal winner with Swindon in season 2012 and hot English prospect Josh Auty.
Completing the Brummies line up are reserve duo, highly rated Italian Nicolas Covatti and Martin Smolinski, a man who has started the current campaign with a simply blistering run of form.
The German more than demonstrated his worth in recent home and away victories against the Bees, scoring 19 paid 20 from 7 rides in a 49-41 success at Brandon and followed by a faultless 14 paid 15-point maximum in the return leg, another 55-37 triumph two nights later, in total, a quite incredible tally of paid 35 from twelve rides.
Team Manager and Trevor Geer said, “The match against Wolverhampton provided us with the wake up call that maybe we needed.
“Birmingham have a team packed with quality but we feel that we have too. The game plan is to start off just as we did against Wolverhampton, but this time we have no intention of letting our guard down.
“It may be a cliché but this is very much another ‘must win’ match for us and that is exactly what we aim to do.”
Eagles : Lukas Dryml, Denis Gizatullin, Simon Gustafsson, Timo Lahti, Bjarne Pedersen, Adam Shields, Cameron Woodward (Captain).
Brummies : Josh Auty, Ben Barker, Nicolas Covatti, Jason Doyle, Chris Harris, Danny King (Captain), Martin Smolinski.