Forget Liverpool in the Champions League final in Istanbul or the Ryder Cup’s Miracle of Medinah; Workington Comets produced one of the great sporting comebacks on Saturday to reach the Knockout Cup final.

Comets were humiliated at Edinburgh on Friday night in the semi-final first leg, collapsing 59-31 as Monarchs stars Richie Worrall and Erik Riss both went unbeaten and the tie looked effectively over.

No1 Nicolai Klindt came away with no points from four rides, Rene Bach withdrew from the meeting ill after two races and nothing went right for the visitors as time after time good positions were squandered to allow the Monarchs to build what looked like an unassailable lead.

But it was a different Comets side which showed up at Derwent Park on Saturday night; the dogged, never-say-die one which fans have become accustomed to this season, and from the start Workington chipped away at their opponents’ aggregate advantage.

If Comets were to have any hope of a comeback they needed to start with a bang and Rasmus Jensen did with a flawless start, although Klindt had to settle for third behind the returning Ricky Wells in a home 4-2.

They took maximum points from the next race as Kyle Bickley continued his fantastic home form with Mason Campton settled behind, then guest Jake Allen beat Josh Pickering and Richie Worrall while Rene Bach came in at the back for a 3-3.

Campton and Ty Proctor delivered the first big 5-1 in heat four, storming to the front from the gate and winning by half a straight which slashed the deficit to 18 points with 11 heats to go and offered a glimmer of hope.

Another stunning start put Bach and Allen in front of Wells in heat five as the pair shut out the Monarch for another four points to cut the gap to 14 and suddenly the improbable looked possible.

Klindt got to the first bend ahead of Riss in heat six while Jensen just missed out on second on the run to the line as two more points were chipped off the deficit.

The momentum was with the home side now as Proctor and Bickley blasted ahead of Pickering and Worrall in the next heat and the Workington fans roared their riders on. The latter squeezed past and the Comets youngster was unlucky to lose out on third when the other Monarch burst past him on the back straight to share the points.

Campton got the drop on everyone in heat eight and it wasn’t long before the entertaining Jensen charged from last to first in another 5-1 which left Comets just eight points behind with the wind in their sails.

Riss looked to inspire his side in heat nine as he got to the front but Bach rode like a man possessed to make light work of the Monarch and his partner came into third for another Comets 4-2.

Every heat was a six-pointer at this stage and as Worrall managed to sneak between Jensen and Klindt in heat 10 you wondered if that lost point might end up costing Comets.

The crowd gave Bickley and Proctor a loud welcome to the tapes before heat 11 and the duo kept Wells honest for a 3-3 to ramp up the tension.

Lawson and Pickering threatened to break hearts in heat 12 but Campton split the pair and then blasted past Pickering, only to lose the spot again as Lawson pulled up for another draw.

Nails were being chewed ahead of a massive heat 13 but the hosts got the start they needed to lead and with a stunning 5-1 they levelled the tie on aggregate with two races to go.

It was a two-race shootout now for a place in the final and in heat 14 Worrall made the gate and kept Bach at bay while Campton just about held on ahead of Lawson to set up a last heat decider.

The tension by now was unbearable as Klindt and Proctor were given the task of beating Wells and Worrall to progress, but Wells inexplicably gave Comets a helping hand by turning his bike around before the race to be disqualified and replaced by Lawson.

After all the fuss and drama, heat 15 was relatively straightforward as Workington gated on a 5-1 and rode four perfect laps to beat Worrall, Lawson and the Edinburgh Monarchs 92-88 on aggregate in a shock for the ages, roared on in an electric atmosphere like the old days of Ian Thomas and Carl Stonehewer.