A dream weekend for Workington Comets saw them put one foot in the Championship Shield Final and leap to second in the SGB Championship League Table.

Comets earned a draw at Scunthorpe on Friday night in their semi-final first leg tie to leave them a home win against the Scorpions away from the final, but it could have been even better as Workington led all night until two 5-1s for the hosts levelled the scores at 45-45.

Workington then hosted Newcastle and Redcar in a league double-header at Derwent Park the next day and walloped the Diamonds 63-27 before seeing off the Bears 47-43.

The west Cumbrians built-up an early lead at Scunthorpe with four 4-2s in the opening seven races and never looked back, only for the home side to grow into the meeting as the night went on and finish strongly with maximum points in the final two races pegging their visitors back.

Tero Aarnio, guesting for Comets in Dan Bewley’s place, produced a solid seven points but Rene Bach was the star of the show with 13 crucial points in a fantastic team performance on a track which has brought some poor performances from Workington recently.

Comets came bursting out of the traps with a quick one-two of heat advantages in the first two races and you immediately sensed this wasn’t going to be like previous trips to the Eddie Wright Raceway.

They weren’t running away with it by any means but Workington kept plugging away and stretching their lead by providing most of the race winners.

A 5-1 for Scunthorpe in heat nine looked like it could be a turning point but Comets hit back straight away with a 5-1 of their own to restore their six-point lead.

A 4-2 in heat 13 made that eight points and left Comets looking good for victory on the night, only for the home side to score two 5-1s out of nowhere to draw the meeting and set-up a fascinating second leg.

Workington looked far more up for it than Newcastle on Saturday as they steam-rollered the away side from the start, providing the winner for 14 of the 15 heats and racking up seven 5-1s and four 4-2s.

Highlights included the blossoming partnership of Nicolai Klindt and Rasmus Jensen, who looked at ease under pressure in some big races, and the flying form of another Dane in Bach, who was only beaten once by a Diamonds rider.

To his credit, guest Aaron Summers didn’t look out of place and provided some of the best racing of the night, while Comets coped admirably without captain Ty Proctor as rider replacement yielded maximum points from his rides.

The only consolation for the away side was the dogged performance of Aarnio, who fought tooth and nail for every point and came away with almost half of his team’s score with a deserved 13 points.

The second half of Saturday’s gruelling 30-heat marathon was always going to be tougher, with the Comets riders beginning to tire and the track changing.

But Comets picked up where they left off and not even superb performances from former Comet Thomas Jorgensen and last week’s Workington guest Ben Barker could stop the hosts from collecting another three points on their charge into the play-offs.

The meeting was much more finely balanced and nothing could separate the two teams early on in a string of 3-3s which ramped up the tension before Workington finally got their noses in front with a heat four 4-2.

Three more draws followed as the Bears lurked just two points behind their hosts but a 5-1 from Mason Campton and Jensen in heat eight gave them some breathing room.

It didn’t last long as Redcar picked up a 4-2 immediately and the two teams proceeded to take turns to score 4-2s in the next four heats, with Workington always ahead but their lead constantly shifting between four and six points to set up a nervy finish.

With two heats to go Workington needed a heat advantage to claim victory and push into second place in the league, and Bach and Campton came up with the goods with a crowd-pleasing 5-1 to provide a satisfying end to a long night which not even a Redcar 5-1 in the final race could sour.