For the second time in three days, Czech Republican Lukas Dryml was the toast of the Eagles with a second 20-point plus performance, this time the Coventry Bees.
Unfortunately however, Dryml’s efforts alone were not sufficient to glean any reward from the Monday night clash as the Sussex side eventually succumbed to a 46-39 defeat in a rain affected match in front of the SKY Sports cameras.
Though Coventry maintained the upper hand throughout the fixture, the Eagles, largely through Dryml’s efforts, conspired to keep things close and within contention for an Elite League point, one that they would have gained for finishing within six points of their hosts.
Indeed, that was the scenario as the final four laps approached, the visitors trailing by seven-points 46-39. However, with conditions worsening, heavy rain having fallen from as early as heat four, the final race was never destined to come to tapes.
The management and riders of both sides were rightly in agreement that safety should come first and the meeting was brought to a premature close with Coventry claiming all three match points, courtesy of their seven-point victory. Little more could have been asked of the Czech Republican, his mammoth haul outscoring the combined total offered by his team-mates.
Once again flashes of hope materialised from certain quarters within the Eagles ranks, though sadly not consistently enough to claim any reward from the clash.
For the Bees, former Eagles Edward Kennett proved the star of the show with four wins out of four for a maximum 12 points and he received solid support throughout the order, none more so than from Bees debutant Peter Kildemand who realised an impressive seven-point (paid 10) tally from his four rides.
Although faint hopes of something to show for their efforts might have remained, the worsening conditions resulted in the match being halted at that point with the Bees securing all three match points.
After the meeting team boss Trevor Geer was furious with his side’s performance.
He said, “It was not acceptable. Other than Lukas, the other riders just didn’t perform to the level they are capable of. The conditions were dodgy but that is no excuse.
“Coventry were up for it and we were not; it’s as simple as that.”
The Eagles riders will have plenty of time to reflect on their below-par performance. Their next meet is the return leg against Coventry at Arlington in four weeks time.
There was one scheduled for July 2 which was postponed due to Grand Prix qualifiers.
Geer added, “During this period we will be contacting all the riders and telling them they need to raise their game. At Coventry they let the fans and the sponsors down.
“We have a great opportunity to win the title this year and we don’t want to throw it away. They will all be receiving a letter telling them exactly that.”
Bees: Edward Kennett 12(4), Peter Kildemand 7+3(4), Przemyslaw Pawlicki 7(4), Kenni Larsen 6+1(4), Rory Schlein (guest for Emil Sayfutdinov) 6(4), Ryan Fisher 5(4), Nick Morris 3+1(4).
Eagles : Lukas Dryml 20+1(7), Bjarne Pedersen 6(4), Simon Gustafsson 6(4), Lewis Bridger 3(3), Joonas Kylmakorpi 3(3), Cameron Woodward 1+1(4), Timo Lahti 0(3).