Eastbourne 46, King’s Lynn 44
Play-off chasing King's Lynn are rapidly becoming Elite League table toppers Eastbourne's bogey team after another battling display at Arlington.
Rob Lyon's men remain the only side to take points off the early pace setters this season on home shale - the latest helping them move into second spot behind the Eagles. Kenneth Bjerre top scored for the visitors with the Stars having led until heat 12 - courtesy of back-to-back maximums - before Lukas Dryml and Simon Gustafsson combined to edge Eastbourne into a decisive advantage. Eagles' number one Bjarne Pedersen then split Bjerre senior and compatriot Niels-Kristian Iversen in the finale to confirm the hosts' victory.
Lynn were forced to track old boy Davey Watt with a late guest booking and the Aussie posted a solid paid seven in the absence of Mads Korneliussen who was injured on Danish final duty the previous night. Lyon's men were already operating rider replacement at number two for doubling up rider Sam Masters and injured Czech stalwart Tomas Topinka.
Kenneth Bjerre set the tone in the opener when he trapped sharply to dictate ahead of Pedersen and Cameron Woodward. Lasse Bjerre and newly-acquired Stars' asset Filip Sitera squared off the next before Gustafsson dived up the inside of Olly Allen. Iversen hit back in kind against the in-form Lewis Bridger and then expertly coaxed Sitera around to move Lynn four clear. Watt underlined his class to drive across Bridger into turn one with Allen diving into the Aussie's shadow to move Lynn an improbable eight clear at half-way.
Dryml was deployed on a reserve switch which paid immediate dividends when he reeled in Allen from the back to cut the deficit on the cusp of the interval.
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Joonas Kylmakorpi lowered Iversen's colours on the resumption with Gustafsson securing third place for anther timely hhome eat advantage. Pedersen squared off the next before the Eagles hit back in kind with their own double maximum hit.
Bridger and Dryml team rode to perfection to thwart the previously unbeaten Kenneth Bjerre. Allen and Lasse Bjerre trapped to dictate the next but Dryml again responded on a reserve switch when he powered out of turn two while Gustafsson glided past the Stars' duo exiting turns three and four.
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Kenneth Bjerre responded in heat 13 although the home fans berated the referee for allowing the Dane's super swift gate to go unpunished, but Bridger and Pedersen nullified Iversen's charge to maintain the hosts' four point lead.
Kylmakorpi and Dryml trapped ahead of Watt in the penultimate race but Drmyl spun off under pressure from the Aussie. The impressive Czech was excluded but Kylmakorpi responded in the re-run to head the brave Watt who took a heavy fall into the safety fence attempting to avoid Dryml.
Lynn needed a maximum to salvage a draw on the night but with Kenneth Bjerre again imperious from the tapes, Bridger's defensive line held up Iversen long enough for Pedersen to split the visiting duo.
• Eagles: Pedersen 9+2, Woodward 3, Gustafsson 7+2, Kylmakorpi 9. Bridger 8+1, Dryml 10+2, Lahti 0.
• Stars: K Bjerre 13, Allen 7+2, Watt 7, Iversen 9, L Bjerre 3, Sitera 5+3.