Another defeat, but a vastly improved performance as the Eastbourne Eagles went down fighting at Swindon’s Abbey stadium on Thursday evening.
The local Robins had to overturn an early 4-point deficit to run out eventual 49-43 winners by the close.
Certainly, it was a veritable chalk and cheese display by the Sussex side, one in total contrast to that witnessed at Wolverhampton earlier in the week, and one that served to cheer the travelling support.
Indeed, the heroes of the moment were the duo who had arguably been the most disappointing at Monmore Green, Simon Gustafsson and Timo Lahti who between them were paid for 21-points and it was they who registered a final heat 4-2 against the previously unbeaten Hans Andersen and former Eagle Edward Kennett to wrestle a last gasp match point from their hosts.
Skipper Cameron Woodward was also good value, registering double figures for the Eagles and had it not been for a little more good fortune, a penultimate race 5-1 seemingly having been denied them, possible greater returns from their heat leader strength and the fact that reserve Denis Gizatullin, who won his opening race with some style, was forced to withdraw suffering a shoulder injury, a shock might well have been on the cards and their reward could have been greater.
Indeed it was the Sussex side who had come out fighting, a pair of 4-2’s in heats two and three opening up the early advantage and although the Robins responded well, opening up a ten-point lead by the conclusion of heat nine it was the Eagles who refused to give up the contest, three heat advantages in the final six races seeing them finally rewarded with a match point, the first on their travels in season 2013, and at the home of the team who’s victory returned them joint top of the Elite League table, and a point considered most unlikely by many on the strength of their showing in the Midlands.
Robins : Hans Andersen 13+1(5), Eddie Kennett 10+1(5), Troy Batchelor 9(4), Peter Kildemand 7+1(4), Kacper Gomolski 6+3(5), Nick Morris 3(4), Todd Kurtz 1+1(3). - 49
Eagles : Bjarne Pedersen 6(4), Simon Gustafsson 10+1(5), Cameron Woodward 10(4), Timo Lahti 8+2(5), Lukas Dryml 4+1(6), Denis Gizatullin 3(2), Adam Shields 2(4). – 43