Last-heat drama as Eagles snatch points

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King’s Lynn 43,

Eastbourne Eagles 46,

Eastbourne pulled off a stunning win in this top-of-the-table clash at the Norfolk Arena on Wednesday night.

The Eagles negotiated a dramatic last-heat decider to collect three more Elite League points.

It was an all-round team performance from the visitors with Bjarne Pedersen providing the inspiration with a quite brilliant performance from the No1 slot.

Co-promoter Mike Bellerby said, “No-one was giving us any chance of coming away from here with anything. This win just shows the tremendous spirit and capabilities within this team.

“Everyone chipped in with points and that gave us the victory.”

Bellerby said Pedersen had brought great strength to the team. “You can rely on him to go out and do the business for us.”

Most pundits put this match down as a comfortable home win but the Eagles quickly showed they had other ideas.

They fell behind in the opening heat but Cameron Woodward and new reserve Timo Lahti blasted away from the tapes to take a 5-1 in heat two.

A tense battle then unfolded as fortunes fluctuated. Home No 3 Olly Allen was ruled out of the meeting after crashing in his first ride; a race that also saw Lewis Bridger bite the dust. He was unhurt.

Pedersen took his first heat win in heat five and then took the chequered flag in heat 11, holding off the fast charging Lasse Bjerre on the line. Lukas Dryml’s hard riding secured third place in front of the previously unbeaten Niels-Kristian Iversen.

This 4-2 brought the Eagles to within a point of their hosts. And then the visitors struck. Simon Gustafsson, making his first appearance at the track where his father was adored by the home fans, gated and romped to victory. Woodward put on the style and rounded Filip Sitera to follow his team-mate home.

Pedersen won heat 13, inflicting the first defeat of the night on Kenneth Bjerre, and with Joonas Kylmakorpi third the Eagles were in the driving seat.

In all tightened up in heat 14 in which King’s Lynn took a 5-1 after Woodward was controversially excluded.

He and Lasse Bjerre clashed on the home straight with men and machines tumbling down the track.

Woodward said after the meeting he was ‘sore’ and that his bike had suffered serious damage.

Eastbourne went into the last race one point ahead and when home stars Kenneth Bjerre and Mads Korneliussen gated it looked as if the Norfolk side would pull the fat out of the fire.

Pedersen and Kylmakorpi were in full cry and hot on the heels of the home duo at the end of the first lap. Soon after they crossed the line, Bjerre’s bike packed up.

Kylmakorpi soon was through into the lead with Pedersen content with third, knowing the Eagles had won again on the road. They now have 25 points from 12 matches with Poole in second place (17 points from eight matches) and King’s Lynn third (14 points from seven matches).

Eastbourne: Bjarne Pedersen 12 (5), Lukas Dryml 4 (4), Simon Gustafsson 7 (4), Lewis Bridger 4+1 (4), Joonas Kylmakorpi 10+1 (5), Timo Lahti 2+1 (3), Cameron Woodward 7+1 (5).