From being labelled wooden spoon contenders at the start of the year to title challengers at the business end, this lionhearted Workington Comets side caused another upset in a season of surprises to earn their shot at the league title.

Comets went into the play-off semi-final second leg with a 13-point gap to overcome after the first leg against Glasgow at Ashfield hours earlier but with the stunning comeback against Edinburgh two weeks ago to call upon for inspiration, it looked far from an insurmountable lead for the Tigers.

With six riders, 15 heats and hundreds of supporters desperate to see their side do themselves justice at Derwent Park, Comets once again defied their critics to book their place in the SGB Championship play-off final.

Mason Campton picked up where he’d left off at Ashfield with a stunning ride to get the better of Ricky Wells and win the opening race to get the crowd going, only for his team-mate Rene Bach to be stranded at the back behind James Sarjeant in a 3-3.

Campton bolted again in heat two with Jordan Stewart and Kyle Bickley settling in behind as the hosts pulled two points back on aggregate with a 4-2 from the gate, then Comets really turned it on with a 5-1 from Rasmus Jensen and Nicolai Klindt as they powered away from Claus Vissing and Paul Starke.

Workington had to keep the momentum going and it was Campton again who produced a stunning start to get his nose in front of Chris Harris, who tried to line up a big blast around the boards but couldn’t get near the flying Comet while his countryman Ty Proctor was third for a home 4-2 to cut Glasgow’s aggregate lead to five points.

Klindt and Jensen tried to repeat their heat three heroics in heat five but this time Wells managed to squeeze between the pair coming off the first bend and Workington had to settle for a 4-2 to move within three points of levelling the scores.

Comets drafted in Klindt as rider replacement in the next race and he delivered again, gliding over from the outside gate to clamp Harris to the inside then holding him off for four laps while Bach cruised round for third in another home 4-2.

Vissing gated and was gone in heat seven but it was Bickley and Proctor who followed him to leave the other Tiger at the back.

Comets’ youngster moved into second and Proctor used his experience in a classy performance to hold up Starke until the last lap and protect his partner to limit the visitors to a 4-2.

It was a familiar story in heat nine as ex-Comet Sarjeant blasted through the tapes and was excluded, with Thomas coming in as his replacement.

Jensen continued his electric form as he made his way to the front with ease in the rerun but Stewart found his way into second and Campton almost lost it trying to pass him and eventually settled for third as the gap narrowed to one point again.

Klindt and Jensen were dynamite from the start again and Thomas and Harris couldn’t cope with the slick track as four more points for Workington put them ahead on aggregate for the first time since the opening race of the first leg.

Just like that Edinburgh comeback two weeks ago the momentum was with Workington now and Campton and Bach built on the aggregate lead with another 5-1 which got Derwent Park rocking and the bumper crowd on their feet.

Proctor pipped Wells out of the traps in heat 11 but the Glasgow guest weaved his way past to put the away side on a 4-2 with Sarjeant ahead of Bickley at the back and neither Comet could find a pass.

The Tigers gated on a 4-2 in the next race and they just about held on despite Klindt edging past Vissing for a few seconds, only for the Dane to slam the door shut as Comets’ lead was trimmed to three points with three to go.

It was all a bit too close for comfort and even when Proctor beat Wells and Harris from the gate you didn’t think it was safe. That proved to be the case as Wells pulled a smart pass out of the bag to take the win and leave one point between the sides on aggregate.

Heat 14 was a high-stakes race and Comets looked to have settled the nerves as Campton hit the front and Jensen went from last to first, but the latter just kept on picking up speed coming off the third bend and smashed into the fence on the fourth bend.

Thankfully the Dane got to his feet and was able to walk off the track to be assessed by medical staff but Workington would have to run heat 14 with just one rider.

A mistake from the referee then saw confusion at the tapes and all three riders were called back for the rerun, with Campton making the start he needed to lead and riding a flawless race to earn a 3-3 with set up another last heat decider.

Workington needed at least a 3-3 in one of the biggest races in their history to reach the play-off final, with Nicolai Klindt and Ty Proctor taking on ex-Comets Ricky Wells and Claus Vissing.

Wells gated but Klindt and Proctor had the second and third places they needed and they rode every inch of the track to hold onto them for an incredible three points which kept hopes of a dream treble alive in what could be the club’s final and best ever season.

Workington Comets 52 (90)

1. Rene Bach – 0, 1, 2*, 0 = 3+1

2. Dan Bewley R/R

3. Nicolai Klindt – 2*, 3, 3, 3, 2, 2 = 15+1

4. Rasmus Jensen – 3, 1, 3, 2*, FX = 9+1

5. Ty Proctor – 1, 0, 2, 2, 1* = 6+1

6. Kyle Bickley – 1, 2, 0 = 3

7. Mason Campton – 3, 3, 3, 1, 3, 0, 3 = 16

Glasgow Tigers 38 (89)

1. Ricky Wells – 2, 2, 3, 3, 3 = 13

2. James Sarjeant – 1*, 0, 1 = 2+1

3. Claus Vissing – 1, 3, 0, 3, 0 = 7

4. Paul Starke – 0, 1, 1, 1* = 3+1

5. Chris Harris – 2, 2, 0, 1 = 5

6. Jack Thomas – 0, 0, 0 = 0

7. Jordan Stewart – 2, 0, 2, 1, 1, 2 = 8

HEAT 1 – Campton, Wells, Sarjeant, Bach – 65.2, 3-3 (41-54)

HEAT 2 – Campton, Stewart, Bickley, Thomas – 66, 4-2, 7-5 (45-56)

HEAT 3 – Jensen, Klindt, Vissing, Starke – 65.5, 5-1, 12-6 (50-57)

HEAT 4 – Campton, Harris, Proctor, Stewart – 66.2, 4-2, 16-8 (54-59)

HEAT 5 – Klindt, Wells, Jensen, Sarjeant – 65.5, 4-2, 20-10 (58-61)

HEAT 6 – Klindt, Harris, Bach, Thomas – 65.8, 4-2, 24-12 (62-63)

HEAT 7 – Vissing, Bickley, Starke, Proctor – 66.6, 2-4, 26-16 (64-67)

HEAT 8 – Jensen, Stewart, Campton, Thomas – 66.2, 4-2, 30-18 (68-69)

HEAT 9 (RERUN) – Klindt, Jensen, Stewart, Harris – 66.2, 5-1, 35-19 (73-70)

HEAT 10 – Campton, Bach, Starke, Vissing – 67.3, 5-1, 40-20 (78-71)

HEAT 11 – Wells, Proctor, Sarjeant, Bickley – 66.7, 2-4, 42-24 (80-75)

HEAT 12 – Vissing, Klindt, Stewart, Campton – 66.5, 2-4, 44-28 (82-79)

HEAT 13 – Wells, Proctor, Harris, Bach – 66.1, 2-4, 46-32 (84-83)

HEAT 14 (RERUN X2) – Campton, Stewart, Starke, Jensen (fell excluded) – 68.1, 3-3, 49-35 (87-86)

HEAT 15 – Wells, Klindt, Proctor, Vissing – 67.4, 3-3, 52-38 (90-89)