Workington Comets 87 Newcastle Diamonds 92 (aggregate): Workington Comets blew a 16-point lead to crash out of the Knockout Cup in a controversial second leg at Newcastle.

Comets cruised to a 53-37 win at Derwent Park this afternoon, led by British Champion Craig Cook with a 15-point maximum and sensational new track record.

But they fell apart at the Diamonds’ Brough Park home tonight, with James Sarjeant withdrawing and an injury for Robert Lambert doing nothing to slow the Diamonds’ comeback to win 92-87 on aggregate.

The second leg ended in farce as Cook was excluded from the final heat rerun after missing the two minutes due to his bike being damaged in a crash in the last race.

Thomas Jorgensen, who was also hurt in the incident, completed four laps in agony knowing that progression was almost impossible.

In the entertaining first leg, an opening string of 4-2s saw Cook, Sarjeant, Matt Williamson and Thomas Jorgensen register wins for the home side, the Dane in particular impressing with a box office last bend pass on Steve Worrall, before Lambert hit back for the away side with a stylish ride in heat five to share the points.

Comets quickly got back to winning ways with a 5-1 through Cook and Campton in heat six, the latter holding off Worrall with a determined ride from the gate, but the Diamonds responded with a 5-1 of their own as Jorgensen shed a chain and Sarjeant couldn’t catch Ludvig Lindgren or Lewis Rose.

Former Comet Ashley Morris made the most of a good start to win heat eight for a 4-2 with Ben Hopwood, but Ty Proctor motored past Worrall on the first bend of heat nine to cancel it out with a Comets 4-2.

Heat 10 saw one of the rides of the day as Cook went from last to first in one lap for another 4-2, this time cancelled out by Newcastle with a 4-2 in heat 11 thanks to Lambert’s classy win.

Rose split Proctor and Sarjeant in heat 12 for a Comets 4-2, before Cook shot to the front in heat 13 and a feisty battle between Worrall and Jorgensen saw the Comet emerge behind his team-mate for a crucial 5-1.

Williamson delivered the goods again with a win in heat 14, with Sarjeant behind Lindgren for another 4-2.

And a final heat 3-3 gave Cook his maximum and left Workington a 16-point lead to defend.

Comets picked up where they left off with a 4-2 in the second leg’s first heat thanks to Cook showing Lambert the fastest way around Brough Park, with Campton third.

Heat two was awarded as a 3-2 before Lindgren and Rose team-rode to a 5-1 which took a chunk out of Comets’ lead in heat three.

A draw followed in heat four as Jorgensen and Shuttleworth chased Worrall, then Cook led Rose and Lindgren for another 3-3.

Comets suffered a blow as Sarjeant withdrew from the meeting with a suspected broken metatarsal, before Lambert took a tumble in heat six and was excluded for his troubles, with Morris winning the rerun ahead of Jorgensen and Shuttleworth.

A fourth consecutive draw in heat seven saw Worrall beat Proctor and Williamson before the hosts broke the streak with a two 4-2s to chip away at Comets’ lead, only for their leading light Lambert to withdraw from the meeting.

Worrall stepped in to replace him in heat 10 and dealt a devastating blow to Workington, combining with Morris for a 5-1 to slash the away side’s aggregate lead to just five points.

And the Diamonds No5 beat Campton and Cook in the next race to keep the pressure on, before a Rose/Hopwood 4-2 cut the aggregate gap to just three points.

Cook won heat 13 to give Comets' hope that they could hold on, but it wasn't to be as the home side produced a pair of 5-1s to break West Cumbrian hearts and end a day of speedway on a sour note.

WORKINGTON COMETS 53: Craig Cook 15, Ty Proctor 9, Matt Williamson 8+1, Thomas Jorgensen 7+1, Mason Campton 6+1, James Sarjeant 6, Rob Shuttleworth 2
NEWCASTLE 37: Robert Lambert 10, Steve Worrall 7+1, Ludvig Lindgren 7, Lewis Rose 6+1, Ashley Morris 4, Ben Hopwood 3, Dan Greenwood 0.

2nd leg
NEWCASTLE 55: Steve Worrall 16+1, Ludvig Lindgren 14+2, Ashley Morris 8+1, Lewis Rose 8+1, Ben Hopwood 7+1, Robert Lambert 2, Dan Greenwood 0
WORKINGTON COMETS 34: Craig Cook 10+1, Thomas Jorgensen 7, Ty Proctor 6, Mason Campton 5, Rob Shuttleworth 4+2, Matt Williamson 2+1, James Sarjeant 0. Newcastle win 92-87 on aggregate.