Eastbourne Eagles are yet to record an away victory as the Panthers made home knowledge pay in the closing stages to claim all three match points, courtesy of a 53-42 victory.
A flawless 18-point maximum for home number one Kenneth Bjerre, who seems to relish Eastbourne visits to Alwalton, was largely responsible for setting the Panthers on course for what appeared a comfortable win, the home side amassing a 39-23 advantage after ten races, and then for pulling the spoils back out of the fire after the Eagles threatened to turn things around thanks to a resurgent 8-1 and then a 5-1 in heats 11 and 12 as the match headed towards a conclusion.
At that moment the Eagles, for whom Bjarne Pedersen and skipper Cameron Woodward were good value, the pair between them being paid for 27-points, and Lewis Bridger turned in another terrific guest performance, two wins included in his 12-point (paid 13) return, looked good to snatch at least a consolation point and possibly more. A pulsating final three races saw the pendulum swing back in favour of the Panthers, a third of four victories for Bjerre over Pedersen engineered a 4-2 for the home side and when Dakota North, capping a superb display from reserve, one that netted a 13 (paid for 14) tally and Nicolai Klindt added maximum points in the penultimate race, the destiny of the match spoils was no longer in any doubt.
Both teams went into the contest short handed, the rider replacement facility being utilised for Linus Sundstrom and Lukas Dryml respectively, while Lakeside duo Richard Lawson (for the Panthers) and Bridger performed guest duties for the injured Patrick Hougaard and the retired Adam Shields.
The Sussex side suffered further injury woes throughout the course of the meeting, Timo Lahti being withdrawn following a nasty looking crash in heat seven, one that saw him sucked beneath the second bend air fence.
Panthers: Kenneth Bjerre 18(6), Dakota North 13+1(7), Kenni Larsen 7+1(5), Nicolai Klindt 6+3(5), Richard Lawson (Guest for Patrick Hougaard) 6(3), Ryan Fisher 3+1(4), Rider Replacement for Linus Sundstrom. - 53
Eagles: Bjarne Pedersen 14(5), Lewis Bridger (Guest for Adam Shields) 12+1(7), Cameron Woodward 11+2(6), Simon Gustafsson 4+2(5), Denis Gizatullin 1(5), Timo Lahti 0(2), Rider Replacement for Lukas Dryml. – 42