Poole deliver significant blow to Eagles’ play-off hopes

Trevor Geer

Trevor Geer

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Eastbourne Eagles slipped to a 54-38 defeat at the home of current Elite League table toppers, the Poole Pirates at their Wimborne Road home tonight (Wednesday).

Missing both Joonas Kylmakorpi and Lukas Dryml, guest replacements Scott Nicholls and Ty Proctor worked hard for the Sussex outfit but they, along with the remainder of the Eagles seldom appeared as if they would apply the pressure in to a Pirates septet for whom Darcy Ward rode unbeaten.

Krzysztof Kasprzak dropped a single point and Piotr Pawlicki made a sparkling debut with a double figure return.

The Eagles made it a winning start, a successful toss of the coin being followed by a win for Nicholls, with a 4-2 in the reserves race offering them a momentary lead.

However it was to prove a false dawn, maximum points to the Pirates in heat three being followed by a brace of 4-2’s to put them on course for victory.

Eagles’ hopes of a bonus point from the clash were dashed in the penultimate race as Pawlicki made it a double figure debut, romping home ahead of partner Kling and the chasing Gizatullin.

With Woodward a faller on this occasion, he quickly cleared the track to ensure that the race could continue but certainly it was to prove no happy ending for the Sussex side, maximum points to the Pirates had set the scores at 49-37 and all three points were in the bag.

Events elsewhere didn’t make good reading for the Eagles and their travelling fans. With play-off rivals Birmingham winning 48-42 away at King’s Lynn,.t

This was a hammer blow to Eastbourne hopes of keeping their place in the top four. With tough looking fixtures away to both Peterborough and Birmingham forthcoming, the management knows their team has it all to do if they are yet to extend their season beyond next week.

Pirates : Krzysztof Kasprzak 14(5), Darcy Ward 12+3(5), Piotr Pawlicki 10(4), Chris Holder 9+1(4), Ricky Kling 4+1(4), Linus Eklof 4(4), Sam Masters 1+1(4). – 54

Eagles : Scott Nicholls (Guest for Joonas Kylmakorpi) 11(5), Denis Gizatullin 9+1(6), Cameron Woodward 7(4), Ty Proctor (Guest for Lukas Dryml) 5(4), Simon Gustafsson 3+3(4), Lewis Bridger 2+1(4), Timo Lahti 1+1(3). – 38