Workington Comets stars Ty Proctor and Nicolai Klindt lost out to Sheffield Tigers in the Championship Pairs final as they again showed they are a force to be reckoned with this season.

The duo roared into the final at Somerset with maximum points in their semi-final against Peterborough and Protor got out in front in the decider, only for his team-mate to finish at the back as Comets were beaten 5-4 by Sheffield and two ex-Workington riders in Kyle Howarth and Charles Wright.

Comets were drawn with Ipswich, Glasgow, Redcar and the eventual winners in Group B for the heats and they made a promising start by taking second and third in their first race behind Rory Schlein as Nico Covatti retired to outscore the Witches 5-4.

Their second heat again saw an opponent lead, with former Comet Thomas Jorgensen winning for Redcar, but Proctor and Klindt were settled behind him to shut Ben Barker out and again win 5-4.

Heat 16 brought a tough test with Workington up against Glasgow’s experienced duo of Chris Harris and Paul Starke but they passed with flying colours with a big 7-2 to put them in a strong position to qualify for the semi-finals.

They did enough in heat 20 with four points thanks to a win from Proctor to move level with the Bears and progress due to winning the heat between the two sides.

After a strong showing in the semi-final it was all to play for in the last race but Comets just fell short as Klindt, normally so reliable from the gate and in terrific form, made a mess of the start to allow Howarth and Wright through and Proctor’s win was in vain.

Speaking to the club’s official website, team manager Tony Jackson paid tribute to his riders for their dogged determination to push all the way to the finish.

He said: “I am absolutely gutted to miss out in the final.

“I genuinely thought that we could avenge our heat 20 defeat at the hands of the Tigers and win a seventh Pairs title but it was not to be.

"Both Ty and Nicolai dug deep tonight to get to the final, and we knew that the odds were against us after losing the coin toss for gate positions as gate three was so bad; but we believed that we could still pull it off.

"They both made dream starts but when Nicolai lifted it allowed the Sheffield pair to take advantage of the extra space on the first corner and so eek out an advantage; which proved crucial as Nicolai chased them down throughout.

“He couldn't have tried any harder.”

"Naturally we are disappointed having got within touching distance of the title, and Nicolai is beating himself up about his start in the Grand Final - but if he hadn't made an excellent pass of Kyle Howarth in heat 20 we would not have even reached the semi-final in any case, so he shouldn't feel too bad with his performance, whichever way you look at it.

“Both Nicolai and Ty rode superbly all night.”

"Right now it really hurts like hell to miss out but there are still several trophies up for grabs this season and the team are so determined to bring some silverware back to Derwent Park; so it's a case of onwards and upwards as they say."