Eagles on a high as they secure a play-off spot

Simon Gustafsson.
Simon Gustafsson.

Two stunning performances saw the Eagle sbook their place in the Elite League play-offs for the firdst time in six years.

It was a night of celebration at Arlington as Trevor Geer’s men crusied past Wolves 63-29 before despatching the Coventry Bees 53-40 in the second meet of a Saturday double header.

The results lift the Eagles to second place in the table and with the Bees calling again at Arlington next week, the Eagles have every chance of maintaining their runners up spot.

Each and every one of the Eagles number stood up to be counted throughout the nights entertainment, however skipper, and super reserve Cameron Woodward in particular was the recipient of special plaudits with lofty 14-point hauls (paid 15 and paid 17-points respectively against Wolves then the Bees) in each match from a punishing 13 rides during the evening.

Number one Bjarne Pedersen also remained rock solid throughout both matches with a night’s total of eight wins and 13-points accrued from each meeting. In addition, maximum 5-1 victories achieved with another heavy hitter Joonas Kylmakorpi to round off proceedings against both the Wolves and the Bees were moments particularly celebrated by the Arlington faithful.

With all due respect to Wolverhampton, the first match proved largely one way traffic as the Eagles went on the attack against their Black Country opponents from the word go.

With Woodward in particular in irresistible form, the Sussex provided the first man home in each of the first six races, in so doing amassing a healthy 16-point, 26-10 lead along the way.

With Play-off qualification now in the bag, in many ways the pressure was now off for the Eagles, however they would have been keen for nothing to spoil their party and with their second opponents Coventry in desperate need to claim something from the clash with which to aid their own top four aspirations, the Sussex side knew only too well that they could not afford to let their focus slip if they were to continue their winning ways.

Certainly they started as they had previously left off with Pedersen and Woodward combining to bring the house down with a wholly popular opening 5-1 against visiting duo, Dane Kenni Larsen and guest Troy Batchelor.

Coventry provide stern resistance but the Eagles, with Woodward and Pedersen in inspired form proved too strong for the Bees.

Eagles: Cameron Woodward 14+1(6), Bjarne Pedersen 13(5), Joonas Kylmakorpi 10+2(5), Simon Gustafsson 10+2(5), Lewis Bridger 10+1(4), Timo Lahti 6+1(5), Rider Replacement for Lukas Dryml.

Wolves: Peter Karlsson 11(5), Tai Woffinden 8(5), Fredrik Lindgren 7(4), Joe Haines 2(7), Henning Bager 1(7), Ty Proctor 0(2), Rider Replacement for James Grieves.

Eagles: Cameron Woodward 14+3(7), Bjarne Pedersen 13(5), Joonas Kylmakorpi 9+1(5), Simon Gustafsson 9(5), Lewis Bridger 6+2(4), Timo Lahti 2(4), Rider Replacement for Lukas Dryml.Bees: Chris Harris (Guest for Edward Kennett) 12+1(6), Nick Morris 8+1(6), Kenni Larsen 8(5), Troy Batchelor (Guest for Emil Sayfutdinov) 7+1(5), Ryan Fisher 5+2(5), Dakota North (Guest for Piotr Pawlicki) 0(3), Rider Replacement for Przemyslaw Pawlicki.