Workington Comets 44 Somerset Rebels 46 (agg 82-98): Workington Comets’ Knock Out Cup hopes ended as they succumbed to a 44-46 defeat at home to Somerset.

Comets trailed by 14 points after the first leg and a nightmare start meant they never really challenged the Rebels’ aggregate lead.

Ricky Wells made a statement of intent with a rocket-fuelled start in heat one but ex-Comet Josh Grajczonek was quickly around the outside of him by the second lap, setting the fastest time by a visitor this season.

Rasmus Jensen was stranded at the back as the Rebels secured a 4-2 to extend their already formidable aggregate lead to 16 points.

Zach Wajtnecht made a strong start in heat two and handled strong pressure from Adam Roynon, who kept Bradley Wilson-Dean in third as the Rebels notched a second 4-2.

Kenneth Hansen started with a 15-metre handicap in heat three after his engine exploded at the tapes.

The Rebels gated on a 5-1 despite Mason Campton’s battling around the first bend and although Hansen eventually passed his teammate, he couldn’t close on the visitors.

Comets had a mountain to climb already, but Claus Vissing gave them hope with a win in his fastest time as a Comet, while Matt Williamson held off Rohan Tungate behind him.

Hansen pushed to the front in heat four and set his own fastest time of the season but Campton couldn’t edge up the inside of Grajczonek or Jake Allen as the Rebels clinched a draw.

Wells was in no mood to concede first place this time as he romped to victory in heat six, but again Jensen was last as the points were shared.

Vissing overpowered Paul Starke to win heat seven, with Starke and Charles Wright slotting in behind him ahead of Roynon for a third draw in a row.

Williamson and Jensen gated on a 5-1 in heat eight but Wilson-Dean was soon between them. Wilson-Dean looked to have caught Williamson on the final lap but the Comet stood firm, then the visitor put himself into the fence on the final bend to allow Jensen to slip into second and level the scores.

Tungate hit the front with Williamson and Hansen behind him in heat nine but Hansen was soon past his teammate and after the leader. A beauty of a pass on the third lap secured the win and put Comets ahead for the first time on the night.

Starke cleared off into the distance in heat 10 but Wells and Jensen were solid behind him for a draw to leave the aggregate gap at 12 points with five heats to go.

Allen pipped Roynon into the lead out of the second bend in heat 11 but the Comet kept Grajczonek at arm’s length as the Rebels made the scores 33-33.

Hansen and Williamson gated at the front in heat 12 but Wright produced a stunning lap to hit the front.

The Dane continued to press his rival while Williamson slipped into last behind Wilson-Dean for a Somerset 4-2 which ended Comets’ cup hopes.

Somerset thought they had a 5-1 in heat 13 but Vissing had other ideas, storming past Grajczonek then gunning for Tungate, only just falling short as the away side scored another 4-2.

Roynon and Campton muscled their way to the chequered flag with Starke in between them in heat 14 to cut the gap to two points as they aimed to restore some pride.

Grajczonek took control of the final heat while Hansen swept past his teammate Vissing but couldn’t close the gap to the Rebels No1, who made sure of the victory.

WORKINGTON COMETS 44: Kenneth Hansen 11, Claus Vissing 9, Adam Roynon 7, Ricky Wells 7, Matt Williamson 6+1. Rasmus Jensen 3+2, Mason Campton 1

SOMERSET REBELS 46: Josh Grajczonek 10, Paul Starke 10, Rohan Tungate 8, Charles Wright 6+2, Jake Allen 6+1, Bradley Wilson-Dean 3+1, Zach Wajtknecht 3