THE Eagles signed off from their regular Elite League itinerary with another dominant home display at Arlington stadium on Monday evening to confirm their runners up position in the League table.
The Sussex side provided a repeat of their 53-40 victory over the Coventry Bees, achieved just nine days earlier against the Brandon outfit in the clubs first double header for fifteen years, and heading into the Elite League Play Offs in impressive and confident fashion, in-so-doing they drove the final nail into the coffin of the reigning Champions own aspirations of finishing in the final four.
Coventry needed to finish within 6-points of their hosts to claim a league point and give themselves a mathematical, albeit slim, chance of making the cut with their final match of the campaign looming against King’s Lynn in the Midlands this coming Thursday.
A win or draw would have greatly enhanced their chances but in the event they were to fall short of achieving any of those goals courtesy of an imposing Eastbourne performance, one that saw all six riders being paid for at least one race win.
Leading the scorers, number one Bjarne Pedersen was class and coolness personified, the Dane suffering just defeat at the hands of an opponent, that honour falling to Bees reserve, the wholly impressive Nick Morris in heat six. Further down the order, skipper Cameron Woodward made an impact once again from the reserve berth with another double figure return, his partner Timo Lahti also nipping sharply from the traps to claim victory in race seven, a moment that raised the collective pulse rates of the smaller than usual, but nonetheless enthusiastic Arlington attendance.
In between, Simon Gustafsson, Lewis Bridger and Joonas Kylmakorpi each equipped themselves capably with 8-points apiece, points that ensured that Coventry would leave Sussex disappointed.
For the Bees, Emil Sayfutdinov was undoubtedly their leading light, the Russian Star enjoying three wins, that including a 6-pointer in heat 11, contained within his 15-point return.
While the Grand Prix exponent is certainly a man of the moment, Australian Morris confirmed his credentials as an undoubted Star of the Future, bagging a brace of race victories, a likely third being denied him as he suffered an alarming tumble in the twelfth, a race that arguably proved pivotal to the final outcome.
Elesewhere, a lively Arlington debut for Piotr Pawlicki apart, the remainder of the Coventry sextet fell a measure short of what might have been expected in terms of scoring potential though Dane Kenni Larsen should be mentioned in dispatches for his commitment in taking to the track with a broken wrist.
The Eagles look ahead to conflicts that include a Knockout Cup semi-final against the Poole Pirates and ultimately the final chase for the Elite League title with the Play Off’s set to commence next Monday evening.
Eagles: Bjarne Pedersen 13+1(5), Cameron Woodward 11(6), Lewis Bridger 8+2(4), Joonas Kylmakorpi 8+1(5), Simon Gustafsson 8+1(5), Timo Lahti 5+1(5), Rider Replacement for Lukas Dryml.
Bees: Emil Sayfutdinov 15(6), Nick Morris 9+1(6), Piotr Pawlicki 6+1(5), Przemyslaw Pawlicki 5(5), Kenni Larsen 3+1(5), Ryan Fisher 2(3), Rider Replacement for Edward Kennett.