IT was so near yet so far for Eastbourne Eagles who suffered a 47-42 Elite League defeat at Wolverhampton.
On the plus side, the Sussex side gained an Elite League point at Monmore Green to show for their efforts, one that made up for the point dropped at home against Peterborough the previous Saturday.
On the flip side however, the Sussex management will no doubt reflect on a catalogue of misfortune in the earlier part of the meeting that could well have denied them a much needed victory with which to enhance their play-off credentials.
A brace of falls for Lukas Dryml in heats eight and 11 cost Eastbourne points at crucial times and with others seemingly struggling with track conditions early on, the Eagles will likely consider this an opportunity gone begging.
Wolves, with Fredrik Lindgren in maximum mood and Tai Woffinden no less dominant, gained the upper hand as the match moved past the half way mark. The hosts opening up a five point lead for the first time following back to back 4-2’s in heats ten and eleven.
The Eagles refused to lie down however, and claiming three maximum advantages throughout the contest, they managed to close the margin to a single point on two occasions as the match moved towards a conclusion.
With Lindgren and Woffinden taking charge in both heats 13 and 15 it was to prove just too big an ask for the Sussex battlers and as the dust settled they had to content themselves with a single point as a reward for their nights work.
Wolves : Fredrik Lindgren 15(5), Tai Woffinden 12+2(5), Ricky Wells 7(4), Ty Proctor 6+1(4), Jacob Thorssell 5+1(5), Nicolai Klindt 1+1(3), Pontus Aspgren 1(4). – 47
Eagles : Simon Gustafsson 11(6), Joonas Kylmakorpi 9+2(6), Timo Lahti 9(5), Denis Gizatullin 6+1(4), Lukas Dryml 4+1(4), Cameron Woodward 3+1(5), Rider Replacement for Lewis Bridger. – 42