Two matches in two days can transform the Eastbourne Lifestyle Eagles’ season. Victories at Coventry tonight (Friday) and at home against the same team on Saturday will put a totally different complexion on things.
A couple of rain-offs at home has seen the Eagles get behind with their fixtures, but now the Arlington outfit are targeting a swift run up the league table and into the play-off positions.
Coventry have struggled this year but rallied on bank holiday Monday at home to Lakeside, who they comfortably saw off.
The previous home match had seen them smashed on their own track by Wolves in front of the Sky TV cameras.
Oh, for Eastbourne to have been there on that day.
Team manager Trevor Geer is taking nothing for granted. He knows his own charges have been misfiring and that two slip-ups would plunge the Eagles into the lower reaches of the table and a potential fight to avoid the wooden spoon.
That’s how tight things are at the moment in the Elite League. All it needs is a run of good form to get into the play-offs – while a run of poor form will plunge a team in the opposite direction.
Geer said: “This is a great opportunity for us to get points and shoot up the table. We must not waste the chance and need all the fighting spirit we showed when we gained a league point at Swindon.”
Eastbourne expect to be at full strength at Coventry but will be missing Timo Lahti on Saturday at Arlington. He is riding in a world under 21 championship qualifier in Poland where the top five will go through to the final. Eagles will use the rider replacement rule to cover for his absence.
The match begins at 7.30pm.
Eastbourne Speedway suffered a shocking Elite League defeat at Birmingham on Wednesday when they went down 62-31.
The result and performance left the club’s fans stunned.
The only rider to emerge with any real credit was No1 Bjarne Pedersen who scored 15 points from his five rides, which included a double points haul as a tactical ride.
Eastbourne have made a poor start to the year away from home but improved at Swindon after club owner Bob Dugard warned changes would be made if there was no improvement. The rally was short lived.
Fans took to the internet after Wednesday’s result to call for changes to the team.
Birmingham: Martin Smolinski 14+1(5), Danny King 14(5), Jason Doyle 8+2(4), Nico Covatti 7+3(4), Ben Barker 7+2(4), Chris Harris 7(4), Josh Auty 5+2(4). - 62
Eagles: Bjarne Pedersen 15(5), Denis Gizatullin 5(7), Cameron Heeps (Guest for Lukas Dryml) 4(5), Cameron Woodward 3(4), Simon Gustafsson 3(5), Timo Lahti 1(4), Rider Replacement for Adam Shields. – 31