Winning feeling is back for the Eagles

Cameron Woodward
Cameron Woodward

Eastbourne Eagles hit the winning groove once again on Saturday evening but they were made to work hard for their victory by Elite League cellar club, the Peterborough Panthers.

In the end, the Sussex side, for whom four riders hit double points, skipper Cameron Woodward topping the pile with a glorious paid 17-point return, ran out comfortable winners by an 18-point margin.

However, it looked set to prove a different story as the visitors opened up an early 4-point advantage and with both American Ryan Fisher and guest Rory Schlein romping to victory in each of their opening two rides and number one and Captain Kenneth Bjerre threatening more, the Sussex side could well have been in for a tough time.

The Eagles might have seemed up against it at that point but they rallied from the midway stage and showing sustained solidarity they systematically eased away from their visitors to win comfortably by the close.

In addition to Woodward’s fine effort, his defeat by Fisher in heat three witnessing his only point dropped to an opponent, Bjarne Pedersen and Simon Gustafsson (paid 13 and paid 12-points respectively) were good value but a particular plus point for the home fans must have been the form shown by Timo Lahti, the Finn’s 11-point tally including three heat wins seemed far more assured than in recent weeks and the Sussex club’s representatives will surely be hoping for more of the same in the coming weeks.

Team Manager Trevor Geer was delighted with the performance and felt it went a long way to erasing the pain of the Poole defeat two weeks previously.

He said, “Early on, I thought it was going to be a case of ‘here we go again’ but we came on strong in the second half of the match and had the meeting won by heat thirteen” he concluded.

Eagles : Cameron Woodward 14+3(6), Bjarne Pedersen 12+1(5), Simon Gustafsson 11+1(5), Timo Lahti 11(6), Kim Nilsson 5+1(5), Denis Gizatullin 1+1(3), Rider Replacement for Lukas Dryml, – 54

Panthers: Kenneth Bjerre 10(6), Ryan Fisher 10(6), Rory Schlein (Guest for Linus Sundstrom) 8+1(5), Nicolai Klindt 4+1(5), Dakota North 2+1(4), Patrick Hougaard Rider Replacement for Kenni Larsen. - 36