Table makes pleasant viewing for Eagles fans

THE Elite League table has made pleasant viewing for fans of the Eastbourne Lifestyle Eagles this week.

I’m surely not the only Arlington regular who has looked at the league table more than once – it is just for the feelgood factor, you understand.

The Arlington outfit went top of the table on Saturday night and increased the lead to four points with a win at Belle Vue on Monday.

It’s early days but it is good to see Eastbourne on top of the speedway pile.

But, as all speedway fans know, finishing top of the league does not guarantee you becoming champions – that honour is sorted out through the play-off system.

Top at this stage, however, indicates a good start to the campaign.

It is hard to believe but in less than a month, the Eagles will be more than half-way through their league fixtures for 2011 and that just emphasises how vital it is that they are off to a flyer.

Last Saturday a Birmingham team came to Sussex for the first time in nearly 25 years and you can well imagine the Brummies fans who travelled wished the break had been even longer.

Match in a nutshell

Eastbourne Eagles 66

Birmingham 24

Biggest surprise: The visiting No 1, Krzysztof Kasprzak, who is normally mustard at Eastburne, scoring two points. You felt it might not be his night when he toured in last in heat one. It was a dreadful night for the Pole.

Best moments: Eastbourne didn’t just gate and go all the time. They served up some good racing as they overhauled the visitors. More than once the Eagles swooped on either side of their opponent. There’s little you can do to defend such an attack. More please.

Disappointment: Simon Gustafsson not getting his second full maximum in three weeks after making a ragged start to heat 15 and coming last.

Moment of delight: Lukas Dryml being unbeaten in four. If the Eagles can get him going like that away from home; watch out.

...That was three easy points in the bag but Monday’s trip did not look so simple.

Eagles’ co-promoters Mike Bellerby and Trevor Geer were upbeat about the chances on Saturday night but Geer confessed he would have preferred a tougher work-out against Birmingham.

But nevertheless, the Lifestyle Eagles forced a thrilling victory by a single point, 45-44 at the home of Manchester rivals, the Belle Vue Aces.

The Eagles did not disappoint their small band of travelling support and the larger number at home sitting in front of their computer screen watching the results come in heat-by-heat.

Lewis Bridger’s 16 points from reserve was a massive boost. He, however, does not get my man of the match.

That goes to Bjarne Pedersen. Eastbourne went into the last heat just one point in front and Pedersen faced home No 1 Chris Harris and fast-starting Rory Schlein. Pedersen left the home duo for dead from the start and his win ensured three league points were safely in the locker.

Poole still remain favourites to take the league title and their visit to Arlington tomorrow (Saturday, 7.30pm) will test the true potential of both sides.