Elite league play-off hopes on a knife edge

Eagles are still fighting for a play-off spot
Eagles are still fighting for a play-off spot
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Eastbourne ‘Lifestyle’ Eagles Play Off hopes were left balanced on a knife edge after they completed their home fixtures a 49-44 victory over current league leaders.

On the plus side, the Sussex side secured the win that would see them remain the only top-flight outfit not to taste defeat around their home circuit throughout the campaign.

The not such good news was that they lost ground in the race for section’s fourth place to Wiltshire rivals, the Swindon Robins who enjoyed a four-point travelling victory by a 52-37 at Leicester the same evening. With the Eagles trailing the Robins by three-points in the table as the two teams headed into their respective fixtures, it was of paramount importance that Eastbourne should secure the maximum haul of 3-points against the Stars. They also had to hope that the Lions of Leicester did likewise against the Robins in order for them to keep pace as the business end of the season enters its final, meaningful, fortnight.

The reality at the end of each set of fifteen heats was that the Stars snatched a point from the Sussex clash to aid their own cause to finish top, while Swindon took the 15-point victory in the Midlands to send them five-points ahead of the Eagles in the race for the final Play Off place.

Qualification to the final four showdown effectively remains in Eastbourne’s own hands but to achieve it would require an emphatic run of travelling form in their final six away matches, at Wolverhampton, Poole and twice each at Coventry and Belle Vue in the next eight days.

They have not tasted victory on their travels in more than two years and they will need to triumph at least twice in little more than a week to make the Play Offs - that level of success needing to increase if Swindon should receive favourable results in their final two matches, at home against the Bees and away in Manchester.