Poole Pirates: Neil Middleditch delight after Poole reach final

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Poole Pirates manager Neil Middleditch believes guiding the team into their fourth successive play-off final is one of his greatest achievements.

Poole produced a fine comeback to defeat reigning Elite League champions Swindon 97-90 over two legs.

And they will now meet Birmingham Brummies in the final later this month.

"It's fantastic," Middleditch told BBC Radio Solent. "I said before the meeting we had a mountain to climb - and we've climbed it."

Poole overturned a 10-point deficit in the second leg against Swindon and rider Darcy Ward admitted the Robins may have been slightly complacent ahead of Monday's meeting at Wimborne Road.

"I think they may have thought they had it in the bag a little more than they should have," said Ward.

"In saying that we knew it was going to be tough and come down to the last races, but we showed we have got some fight."

Ward and his team-mates now turn their attention to the final, with the first leg at Poole next Monday, with the return at Birmingham on 14 October.

"We're ready to fire, it's going to be tough," the Australian added.

"We're all pretty pumped to be here so what happens now is a bonus but we'll be fighting for it."

And Middleditch paid tribute to his team, who at one stage of the season looked as if they had no chance of making it this far.

"All credit to the boys, we dug so, so deep all season," he said.

"It's been tough, I've never known a season like it. Halfway through the season we were down and out, but signing Greg Hancock was a masterstroke."

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