There might have been plenty of lightning local to the area but the Eastbourne Eagles ensured it wouldn’t strike twice in the same place.
They pulled out all the stops on Saturday (July 19) evening to send reigning Elite League Champions, the Poole Pirates packing back to Dorset with no reward to show for their efforts on the back of a 50-40 scoreline.
The previous meeting between between the sides some three weeks earlier had resulted in a 45-45 draw.
The Pirates contingent might have considered themselves unfortunate not to be returning home with all the points. This occasion was to prove a far different prospect.
It was the only meeting to survive the hostile weather throughout the country and Eastbourne proved the dominant force as proceedings unfolded.
The morning of the clash had already brought good news for the Sussex fans.
The early postponement of Rye House’s Premier League clash with Peterborough ensured that ‘bang in form’ reserve Lewis Blackbird would be available after all to take his place in the line-up.
Poole also benefited from this as it meant that they could draft former Eagle Edward Kennett into their side as a guest replacement for Vaclav Milik, absent contesting the World under-21 round in Lonigo.
Eastbourne too were affected by this competition. Mikkel Michelsen was also a non-starter, Belle Vue’s Scott Nicholls being called up to take the young Dane’s place.
It would prove to be a joyous night for the Eagles fans.
Bjarne Pedersen in particular led from the front with a fine performance, while Danny Halsey also stood up to be counted, a paid 9-point return proving vital in Eagles success.
In between, each of the host riders had a moment to shine, this all culminating in a wholly popular victory over their South coast adversaries.
For the Pirates, Darcy Ward began well with a brace of wins and seemingly threatened to go through the card but a fall in his third outing undoubtedly had a damaging effect on his scoring.
Kennett performed favourably throughout the night, a pair of victories of his own earning him a call up for the nominated final.
Pole Maciej Janowski also ran unbeaten by an opponent in his first two but was caught out in the latter stage and for Przemyslaw Pawlicki, arguably Poole’s star of the ‘A’ fixture, it was to prove a night best forgotten, three falls ensuring that he would only contribute a single point to the Pirates’ cause.
Eagles: Bjarne Pedersen 13+1(5), Cameron Woodward 8(4), Danny Halsey 7+2(4), Scott Nicholls (Guest for Mikkel Michelsen) 7(5), Joonas Kylmakorpi 6+2(4), Lewis Blackbird 5(4), Timo Lahti 4+1(4). – 50
Pirates: Darcy Ward 10(5), Edward Kennett (Guest for Vaclav Milik) 9(5), Maciej Janowski 7+2(4), Kyle Newman 7+1(5), Josh Grajczonek 5(4), Brendan Johnson 1+1(3), Przemyslaw Pawlicki 1(4). - 40