Not even world champ Tai can stop the Eagles

Lewis Blackbird was in top form for the Eagles
Lewis Blackbird was in top form for the Eagles
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Not even the presence of World Speedway Champion Tai Woffinden could prevent the Eagles from romping to victory at Arlington Stadium on Saturday evening.

Four of the Eagles Cameron Woodward, Bjarne Pedersen, free-scoring reserve Lewis Blackbird and paid maximum man Joonas Kylmakorpi all hit double figures.

Timo Lahti also recorded a hefty 9-points (paid for 11) to edge his side close to the 60-point marker on a successful night for the men of Sussex who were operating the Rider Replacement facility for World under 21 competitor Mikkel Michelsen.

In response to Eastbourne’s seven maximum 5-1s throughout the fifteen races, the best the visitors could muster was a brace of 4-2s in heats five and thirteen, these brief successes due to a couple of late victories for Woffinden.

Woffinden trailed both Kylmakorpi and Woodward to the chequered flag in the sixth while Wells ran a last in a Pedersen inspired heat ten - one that saw the Eagles claim a 4-2 of their own.

The hosts certainly hit the ground running, claiming maximum points from three of the first four races to rack up an early 19-5 advantage.

Woffinden proved a casualty of a twice rerun heat one, the Wolves number one being disqualified following a first bend fall in the second running.

Reserve Joe Jacobs was similarly ruled out in the second, a race that also saw Danny Halsey suffer a fall while sharing the lead with partner Blackbird.

Heat seven was shared but back to back 5-1s in eight and nine, Woodward and Kylmakorpi ahead of ThorrseThorsselll and Blackbird and Halsey pairing up respectively stretched the Eastbourne lead to an imposing 24-points, 39-15.

Though the destiny of the three match points had seldom been in doubt, the home advantage would hit 30-points, courtesy of a 4-2 in heat 10 as the tactical ride nominated Wells could gain no ground on the home duo and a seventh 5-1 as Kylmakorpi and Pedersen again got the better of Woffinden, this seeing the scores move to 48-18 in Eagles favour.

Though by that time, it proved of little consequence, the visitors did at least live with their hosts in the final four races, even outscoring them as the match moved towards a conclusion. Thorssell got the better of both Blackbird and Lahti in race twelve and then Woffinden claimed the first of two wins, resulting in Wolves second 4-2 of the match, in 13.

Woodward blasted to victory in the penultimate race but the World Champion did provide one final crumb of comfort for the Monmore Green outfits followers in the last but his taming of Pedersen and Woodward proved too little, much too late.

Eagles: Cameron Woodward 15+2(6), Bjarne Pedersen 12+1(6), Joonas Kylmakorpi 10+2(4), Lewis Blackbird 10+1(5), Timo Lahti 9+2(5), Danny Halsey 3+1(4), Rider Replacement for Mikkel Michelsen. – 59

Wolves: Tai Woffinden 8(5), Jacob Thorssell 6(5), Ty Proctor 5(4), Ricky Wells 4(4), Joe Jacobs 3+2(4), Adam Skornicki (Guest for Piotr Pawlicki) 3(4), Ashley Morris 2(4). - 31