Easgles’ play-off hopes hanging by a thread

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The Elite League Play Off hopes of the Eastbourne Lifestyle Eagles were left hanging by a thread following a 54-38 defeat on Monday night at Peterborough Panthers, one of their main challengers for a coveted top four spot.

It appeared that something of a horror show might be in store for the Sussex side as a poor start saw them trail by a massive 18-points (24-6) after only five heats.

The Eagles staged a revival to claim advantages in four out of the next five races. That reduced the margin to just 8-points (38-30) with five left on the card but it wasn’t destined to be enough as the home side rallied, 4-2s in heats 12 and 14 and a closing 5-1 being sufficient to take all three match points, points that saw them unseat the Sussex side from third place in the table.

Lukas Dryml was the star for the Eagles with a superbly taken 14-points keeping his side in the mix as the meeting progressed. Simon Gustafsson and Joonas Kylmakorpi also won good races for the visitors but it wasn’t to be enough to deny the likes of Linus Sundstrom, Ryan Sullivan, each of whom returned double figures, and the rest of the Panthers as they ran out comfortable winners.

Panthers: Linus Sundstrom 12(5), Ryan Sullivan 10+3(5), Norbert Kosciuch 7+1(4), Krzysztof Buczkowski 7(4), Josh Auty (Guest for Tomas H. Jonasson) 6+1(4), Michael Jepsen Jensen 6+1(4), Richard Lawson 6+1(4). – 54

Eagles: Lukas Dryml 14(7), Simon Gustafsson 9(5), Cameron Woodward 6+2(5), Joonas Kylmakorpi 6+1(4), Timo Lahti 3(3), Lewis Bridger 2(3), Denis Gizatullin 0(3). – 38