Eagles’ frailties cruelly exposed

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Eastbourne Eagles continued quest for Elite League points on the road met with disappointment once more as they found themselves convincingly beaten at Birmingham’s Perry Parr stadium on Wednesday evening by a humbling 62-31 margin.

Former Brummie Bjarne Pedersen was undoubtedly the stand out rider from a visitor’s perspective, his three wins from five starts at least providing the travelling supporters some moments to cheers.

That apart, those moments were certainly few and far between, a sixth heat victory for Eastbourne guest Cameron Heeps over home number-one Chris Harris proved the only other possible contender.

With their frailties cruelly exposed as the meeting progressed, the Sussex side were swept aside in ruthless fashion by a Birmingham side bang in form. Reserve duo Martin Smolinski and Nico Covatti between them were paid for 25-points and suffered only one defeat by an opponent in nine outings.

Eagles were to take an early advantage as Pedersen triumphed in heat one but with the Brummies numbering no fewer than seven 5-1 in eleven heat advantages, as the match progressed it seemed apparent that there was only going to be one outcome.

Indeed, it proved an unfortunately odd shaped Eagles side that was destined to enter the fray.

With Lukas Dryml already out, contesting a Czech League fixture, Adam Shields was then ruled out of action suffering a back injury, Eastbourne opted to use the Rider Replacement facility in his absence.

Brummies : Martin Smolinski 14+1(5), Danny King 14(5), Jason Doyle 8+2(4), Nico Covatti 7+3(4), Ben Barker 7+2(4), Chris Harris 7(4), Josh Auty 5+2(4). - 62

Eagles : Bjarne Pedersen 15(5), Denis Gizatullin 5(7), Cameron Heeps (Guest for Lukas Dryml) 4(5), Cameron Woodward 3(4), Simon Gustafsson 3(5), Timo Lahti 1(4), Rider Replacement for Adam Shields. – 31