Eagles soar as Panthers all at sea

ELITE LEAGUE AEASTBOURNE 50 PETERBOROUGH 43IT was the injury hit Eagles that took the points with a solid looking display as the Panthers let slip a golden opportunity to earn more points on the road.



IT was the injury hit Eagles that took the points with a solid looking display as the Panthers let slip a golden opportunity to earn more points on the road.

Already missing Simon Gustafsson and David Norris, the Eagles were dealt another blow when Lewis Bridger was ruled out on the day, however Eastbourne started and finished strongly and although the Panthers fought back after the interval to give themselves a chance, some mistakes in the closing heats ensured they came away without even a consolation point.

Kenneth Bjerre can count himself unlucky to be excluded by Referee Paul Carrington in heat 1 after he was adjudged the cause of Davey Watt falling, with the Eagles taking full advantage in the rerun.

Claus Vissing made a good start in 2 to initially lead but was soon passed by Ricky Kling, whilst Chris Schramm somehow held off Kenneth Hansen as the Eagles extended their lead.

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Eastbourne quickly extended that lead to 10 points as the home pair shot away for their second maximum; Panthers quickly reversed that with a 5-1, of their own in heat 4 through Niels Kristian Iversen and Hansen.

Bjerre recorded the fastest time of the meeting in winning heat 5 with the Eagles pairing content to shut out Bager to ensure a share of the spoils.

A mistake by Vissing on the third bend saw valuable points slip away as he fell whilst a clear second to Iversen, and although Iversen comfortably won the rerun a clear sense of daja vu washed over the Peterborough contingent.

Korneliussen made an excellent start to win the 7th whilst Andrew Tully took advantage off an out of sorts Schramm to pass the Eastbourne reserve and provide Panthers with a heat advantage.

Eastbourne halted Panthers charge and extended their lead to 8 points again with another 5-1 in heat 8, with Travis McGowan proving an excellent choice of guest for Bridger.

Iversen won the final race before the interval with Vissing again slipping off whilst at the back, before an extensive grading and watering session as the track was becoming very dry and dusty.

The Eagles hit Panthers again with a 5-1 after the interval as Korneliussen could make no impression on the fast starting home pairing.

Bjerre donned the expected black and white helmet colour in heat 11 and initially it looked like Panthers were going to take the maximum advantage as Bager had the important second place, however a Dryml charge on the 4th bend resulting in him falling and unfortunately taking Bager with him and their was a few minutes delay whilst the pair received treatment.

Dryml was excluded from the rerun which Bjerre won but Kling took second place as Bager was clearly feeling the effects of the crash.

That closed the gap to 7 points and the door for the match points was well and truly opened in heat 12 as Korneliussen and Hansen shot away for Panthers second maximum of the match to reduce the arrears to just 3 points.

With Bjerre and Iversen up against Watt and Dryml in the 13th, hopes were high that Panthers would pull it even closer but Panthers asset Lukas Dryml obviously had other ideas and he stormed away to win easily.

Vissing replaced the out of sorts Tully in heat 14 but on paper it still looked promising for the home side, however despite that Hansen made another superb start of gate 3 whilst Vissing tucked in nicely behind him.

Kling wore Vissing down to pass him at the start of lap 3, whilst Woodward took him as they approached lap 4, but neither looked likely to get near Hansen who looked smooth and fast out front.

So Panthers went into heat 15 needing a 5-1 to take the match and any combination other than a maximum against them to come away with a consolation point. It was a complete rerun of heat 13 in terms of nominated riders with Bjerre & Iversen up against Watt & Dryml.

Watt made the start but Bjerre was left with nowhere to go on the first corner as it was nearly four abreast and it was no surprise when the referee called an all 4 back rerun.

Watt & Dryml both made dream starts in the rerun with the Panthers pairing never able to recover from poor starts and while Eastbourne were clearly celebrating the Panthers were left to ponder just how they managed to come away without anything to show for it.