Gustaffson’s the ace in the Eagles’ pack

Simon Gustafsson
Simon Gustafsson

Eastbourne ‘Lifestyle’ Eagles secured another three Elite League points to keep them in the Play Off mix thanks to a dominant 57-35 victory over the Belle Vue Aces at Arlington stadium on Saturday night.

Eagles asset Simon Gustafsson returned to star for the Sussex side and he scorched to four straight wins as a guest replacement for Eastbourne Captain Cameron Woodward.

Gustafsson was joined on 13-points by stand-in skipper Bjarne Pedersen, while Lewis Blackbird again turned in an impressive shift.

In reply, only former Eagle Scott Nicholls hit double figures for an aces side that offered scant resistance.

However, the early exchanges suggested things might be slightly different.

The Aces took an early advantage as Richie Worrall led home Pedersen in heat on and Watt got the better of Timo Lahti for an opening 4-2 for the visitors.

With Danny Halsey taking a tumble in heat two and Joonas Kylmarkorpi trailing the field in the third, it needed Blackbird and Mikkel Michelsen to win each of these to ensure back to back 3-3s.

This meant that Belle Vue still had a 10-8 lead at the conclusion of race three. Eastbourne drew level as Gustafsson secured his first win in heat four, Blackbird following Worrall to the chequered flag for the 4-2 that set the scores at 12-points apiece.

From then on it was all about Eastbourne, though, as Gustafsson and Kylmakorpi shared maximum points and Michelsen and Kylmakorpi put them into a commanding 45-29 lead.

Watt finally arrived at the races, securing Belle Vue’s second heat win ahead of Danish duo, Pedersen and Michelsen in heat 13 to give the away fans something to cheer.

However, it was to prove only consolation as Pedersen took the plaudits and chequered flag in the final heat to round off a 57-35 victory.