Top men put Eagles back in play-off zone

Joonas Kylmakorpi returned to form tonight

Joonas Kylmakorpi returned to form tonight

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Eastbourne are back in the Elite League play-off places after a key home win tonight.

The top five all did their bit as Eagles beat Swindon 53-40 to leapfrog the Robins back into fourth spot.

The bonus point was secured in heat 14 after Joonas Kylmakorpi, enjoying a switch to second string and a fast ride on a new engine, passed Nick Morris to break up a potential Swindon 5-1.

Kylmakorpi, having won his first three races, could not quite catch race winner Steve Worrall.

But Morris slid off on the last bend, allowing Danny Halsey to make it a 3-3.

That preserved an 11-point lead ahead of the nominated race, won by Bjarne Pedersen.

The Dane dropped just one point, to Troy Batchelor when the Aussie went for double points.

Eagles’ top five did not have a single scoreless ride between them and helped their side lead by as many as 30-18 after a tight start to the meeting.

The hosts safely negotiated the first meeting in the absence of top-averaging rider Lewis Blackbird, who suffered a broken leg last week.

Worrall made the most of Blackbird’s lay-off, dropping his only point in five rides to Timo Lahti and later ending Kylmakorpi’s hopes of a maximum.

However Swindon's guest No.1 Davey Watt, in for the injured Peter Kildemand, had a poor night back on his old home track and Eagles asset Simon Gustafsson faded after an early win.

Eagles: Pedersen 12+2 (5), Kylmakorpi 12 (5), Woodward 8+1 (5), Lahti 7+1 (4), Michelsen 7 (5), Ellis 5 (4),Halsey 2+2 (4).

Swindon: Worrall 13+1 (5), Batchelor 9^ (5), North 8 (5), Gustafsson 4 (4), Watt 3 (4), Morris 2 (4), Greaves 1 (3).

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