Eastbourne Eagles secured another two points to enhance their play-off push and to reclaim third place in the table at Arlington stadium on Saturday evening.
However they were denied a third and potentially vital Elite League point by a battling Peterborough Panthers side whose determined efforts saw them settle at 47-43 to the Sussex outfit.
Guest Jason Doyle proved the chief mover and shaker for the Panthers with a superbly taken 15 (paid 17) point haul and he received solid support throughout, particularly from Swede Linus Sundstrom in the early part and from number one Kenneth Bjerre in the latter stages.
For the Eagles, who again utilised the rider replacement facility, Lewis Bridger failing to successfully come through an earlier fitness test and now looks to be facing at least a month on the sidelines, inconsistency seemed to be the key word that summed up their challenge, the riders looking superb in some races but far less so in others.
Finnish duo Joonas Kylmakorpi and Timo Lahti were the tall scorers with 13 (paid 14) and 11 (paid 13) respectively, while Skipper Cameron Woodward also notched double figures but with fortunes in the match having ebbed and flowed, Eagles enjoying five 5-1 successes to the Panthers four, in the final reckoning it proved that final maximum secured by Doyle and Bjerre against Kylmakorpi and Woodward in heat fifteen that proved the difference between Eastbourne taking two or three match points from the contest, unfortunately for them, it proved to be the former.
For once co-Promoter and team manager Trevor Geer was less than his usual upbeat self following the contest. “We really needed three-points from this meeting to aid our play off push. And if we didn’t already, we know now that we are going to have to pick up points on our travels if we are to make the final four come the September cut off”.
“All credit to Peterborough though, they battled hard as we expected they would, and with their gating at times looking much sharper than ours, there were moments that I feared that they might be looking at taking more than a point – had we not got the 5-1 in heat fourteen, that was crucial, they might have done just that” he concluded.
Eagles: Jonas Kylmakorpi 13+1(6), Time Lahti 11+2(6), Cameron Woodward 10+1(6), Simon Gustafsson 8+1(5), Denis Gizatullin 3+2(3), Lukas Dryml 2+1(4), Rider Replacement for Lewis Bridger. – 47
Panthers: Jason Doyle (Guest) 15+2(6), Linus Sundstrom 11+1(5), Kenneth Bjerre 9+2(5), Krzysztof Buczkowski7(5), Todd Kurtz (Guest) 1(5), Norbert Kosciuch 0(4), Rider Replacement for Michael Jepsen Jensen. – 43