Eagles hopes dashed by Coventry defeats

Eastbourne Eagles will not compete in the play-offs this year
Eastbourne Eagles will not compete in the play-offs this year
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Eastbourne ‘Lifestyle’ Eagles slender Elite League Play Off hopes were cruelly cut to ribbons at Coventry’s Brandon stadium on Friday night.

They suffered not just one, but two comprehensive defeats at the hands of a rampant Bees septet, writes Kevin Ling.

In the first match they lost 60-32, the second seeing the Sussex side improving on that by just one-point, the final score in the ‘B’ fixture standing at 60-33.

Having to rely on no fewer than four guests, Rory Schlein, Stuart Robson, Adam Ellis and Max Clegg, the sad truth of the matter was that the Eagles were never really at the races in either match.

There was an Eagles’ 8-1 in heat six of each fixture, the first prompting an all too brief fightback in the ‘A’ match, the second just giving the visiting supporters a moment to celebrate.

With Coventry themselves striving for a place in the Play Off’s they certainly seemed the team who wanted it more and at the conclusion of the thirty heats, unfortunately for Eastbourne it was the Bees who received their just rewards.

The Eagles made apoor start - Coventry blazing away for an opening heat 5-1, Hans Andersen forging an early lead to win all the way, Kyle Howarth slipping past Timo Lahti in the early part to bank the maximum.

Quite what had happened to the Eastbourne challenge that saw them reduce a 12-point margin to just two within the space of three heats a little more than half an hour earlier remains something of a mystery.

There was certainly no denying, they had little answer to Coventry’s dominance in the second half of the meeting, the Midland outfit dropping just 1-point to their opponents in the second half of the fixture.

Scorers:

Bees: Chris Harris 14+1(5), Hans Andersen 13+2(5), Jason Garrity 10+1(5), Kyle Howarth 9+2(4), Kenneth Hansen 7+1(4), James Sarjeant 4+1(4), Josh Auty (Guest for Ben Barker) 3+1(3). – 60

Eagles: Rory Schlein (Guest for Cameron Woodward) 11(5), Timo Lahti 5(4), Joonas Kylmakorpi 5(4), Stuart Robson (Guest for Mikkel Michelsen) 4(4), Adam Ellis (Guest for Lewis Blackbird) 4(5), Bjarne Pedersen 3+1(4), Max Clegg (Guest for Danny Halsey) 0(3). – 32

Scorers:

Bees: Chris Harris 13+1(5), Hans Andersen 12+2(5), Jason Garrity 11+1(4), Kenneth Hansen 10(4), James Sarjeant 5+3(4), Josh Auty (Guest for Ben Barker) 5+2(4), Kyle Howarth 4(4). – 60

Eagles: Rory Schlein (Guest for Cameron Woodward) 13(5), Bjarne Pedersen 6+1(5), Joonas Kylmakorpi 5(4), Timo Lahti 4(4), Stuart Robson (Guest for Mikkel Michelsen) 2+1(4), Max Clegg (Guest for Danny Halsey) 2+1(5), Adam Ellis (Guest for Lewis Blackbird) 1(3). – 33