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Page last updated at 11:40 GMT, Tuesday, 14 October 2008 12:40 UK

Douglas praises champions Poole

Stuart Douglas
Douglas' side still have the Craven Shield Final to look forward to

Lakeside Hammers co-promoter Stuart Douglas said the best team had been crowned Elite League champions.

The Hammers lost the second leg of the play-off final to Poole, 60-33, giving the Pirates an 108-75 aggregate victory to claim the title.

Douglas told BBC Essex: "They were very strong through the whole campaign.

"We finished equal on points over the regular season, but Poole, who have had a settled one to seven for probably 90% of the season, were very strong."

We were pretty much the laughing stock of the Elite League

Stuart Douglas
The Essex side went into the deciding leg looking to chase down a six point deficit, but soon realised it would be beyond them as the home team won the first six races to build a 28-8 lead.

By the end of the evening, the Dorset outfit had claimed 11 race wins, seven of which were maximum 5-1 advantages.

Despite the league disappointment, the Hammers still have the chance to pick up some silverware when they meet the Coventry Bees in the Craven Shield.

Co-promoter Douglas said he was delighted to have been able to help restore some pride back to speedway in Essex, along with fellow co-promoter Jon Cook.

"The fact that people now regard us as a successful club is testament to the work that Jon, myself and the riders have put in over the past two seasons," he said.

"At one stage the Hammers were pretty much the laughing stock of the Elite League, but we've transformed that and have a club to be proud of.

"I think we're in a position to push ahead next year and try to give them that final piece of the jigsaw."

see also
Hammers have a chance - Douglas
09 Oct 08 |  Speedway
Pirates steal play-off advantage
07 Oct 08 |  Speedway

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