DESPITE a top scoring performance from number one Bjarne Pedersen and another encouraging display from recent recruit Mikkel Michelsen, Eastbourne Eagles did little to dent the emerging Elite League play-off push by the Poole Pirates crashing 56-38 to the Dorset side last night.
Former World Champion Greg Hancock made his first appearance in a Pirates’ race suit, but although he didn’t demonstrate the sort of dominance that many had anticipated, solid showings throughout the order served the home side well. Beginning with maximum points from heat one, and string of 4-2’s in races two, three and four propelled Poole into a ten-point lead, one that the seldom appeared likely to relinquish.
Indeed, Eastbourne only secured two heat advantages to reduce the deficit throughout the evening, both of these coming as a result of tactical ride outings for first Pedersen and then Michelsen in heats five and 11 respectively, both resulting in 5-3’s but doing little to halt the Pirates march to victory.
In between times, Poole gradually stretched their advantage to 18-points, one that would ultimately separate the two teams by the close, that in spite of three successive race winners to the visitors to conclude proceedings, two from Pedersen and one in the penultimate race from reserve Kim Nilsson.
Pirates : Thomas H. Jonasson 12+1(5), Greg Hancock 10(5), Maciej Janowski 9+1(4), Rohan Tungate 8(4), Darcy Ward 7+2(4), Josh Grajczonek 5+2(4), Micky Dyer 5+2(4). - 56
Eagles : Bjarne Pedersen 12+1(5), Mikkel Michelsen 11+1(6), Cameron Woodward 7(5), Kim Nilsson 7(6), Rider Replacement for Lukas Dryml). Simon Gustafsson 1(4), Timo Lahti 0(4). – 38