Hells Belles, it’s yet another away defeat

Timo Lahti leads Scott Nichols
Timo Lahti leads Scott Nichols

Another encouraging opening but ultimately no reward as the Eastbourne Eagles quest for points on their travels continued at Belle Vue’s Kirkmanshulme Lane stadium on Monday evening.

The Sussex travellers were destined to take an early three-point advantage but a volley of five maximum 5-1’s throughout the remaining heats and double figure returns from Matej Zagar and an unbeaten 12-point tally from Magnus Zetterstrom ensured that the Aces would run out comfortable winners by a healthy 57-37 margin.

A third race 4-2 from Timo Lahti and Simon Gustafsson offered the visitors a 10-8 advantage giving rise to hopes that Eagles barren run away from their Arlington base might come to an end. Not so however, successive 5-1’s in four and five set the hosts on course for victory and solid scoring throughout the Manchester order only enhanced that.

For the Eagles, Bjarne Pedersen took top billing with 11-points from his five outings but with only Lahti and skipper Cameron Woodward contributing race wins, heats three and nine respectively, elsewhere the pickings were slim, the Aces continuing to pile up the points as the match moved towards a conclusion.

Once again the Sussex side were forced to ride shorthanded, Ipswich’s Morten Risager stepping in as a late replacement for the injured Denis Gizatullin while Kevin Doolan, who had served them well as a guest at Poole, deputised in place of the retired Adam Shields.

Aces : Matej Zagar 12+2(5), Magnus Zetterstrom 12(4), Craig Cook 8(4), Kevin Wolbert 7+3(5), Kauko Nieminen 6+1(4), Ales Dryml 6+1(4), Artur Mroczka 6(4). - 57

Eagles : Bjarne Pedersen 11(5), Cameron Woodward 6+2(5), Kevin Doolan (Guest for Adam Shields) 6+1(5), Timo Lahti 6(4), Simon Gustafsson 5(4), Morten Risager (Guest for Denis Gizatullin) 3+1(5), Lukas Dryml 0(3). –37