Eagles denied - but they can take heart

Lewis Blackbird

Lewis Blackbird

First published in Sport
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Star reserve Lewis Blackbird turned on the style to power Eastbourne to a rare away point last night.

But they could have done even better after taking Lakeside Hammers to a last-heat decider at their Arena Raceway fortress.

Davey Watt led Bjarne Pedersen home to secure the 4-2 which gave Hammers a 47-43 Elite League win.

Rory Schlein took third place with Cameron Woodward at the back.

Blackbird, above, top-scored with 12+2 from his six rides and emphatically got the better of Hammers’ own fast-track hotshot Adam Ellis.

It was another frustrating away defeat for Eagles, who also let slip victory at Leicester on Monday. But this one did not hurt quite as badly.

Little was expected of them this time but Pedersen went unbeaten in his first three rides and Blackbird dropped just one point in his first five outings to put them in charge.

They led 25-17 after heat seven thanks to back-to-back 5-1s.

Timo Lahti and Pedersen controlled heat six and Woodward and Blackbird did similar in the next race.

The lead was still a handy 33-27 after heat ten.

Schlein, guesting for Mikkel Bech, kick-started the Hammers’ recovery.

He got the better of Pedersen in heats 11 and 13 to lead 5-1s with support coming from Lewis Bridger and then Watt.

That edged Hammers into a 40-38 lead and they scented the kill when Blackbird touched the tapes at the start of heat 14.

Danny Halsey took Blackbird’s place in the re-run but Woodward led them home to keep the margin to two and set up the last-race decider.

Eagles host Poole tonight (7.30pm). Scott Nicholls guests for Mikkel Michelsen, who is at the World Under-21 Championship, and Benji Compton comes in for Blackbird, who is needed by Peterborough.

See page 34 of The Argus on Saturday for your kids-a-quid admission voucher.

Lakeside: Watt 12+1 (5), Schlein 9+1 (5), Bridger 8+1 (4), Nilsson 7+1 (4), Morley 6+2 (4), Lawson 3+2 (4), Ellis 2 (4).

Eagles: Blackbird 12+2 (6), Pedersen 12+1 (5), Lahti 7 (5), Woodward 7 (6), Lahti 4 (4), Halsey 1 (4), Michelsen r/r.

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