Wolverhampton repel Belle Vue to be crowned Elite League champions
Last Updated: 06/10/16 10:10am
Wolverhampton were crowned Elite League champions after a dramatic second leg of the Grand Final at Belle Vue on Wednesday.
The Monmore men were put under pressure by the home side, who were attempting to create history by pulling back an 18-point first leg deficit.
When the Aces had reduced that margin to eight midway through the meeting, the comeback looked on - but their progress was then checked by a resolute Wolves team.
There was controversy during and after a spectacular Heat 13 when Craig Cook and Fredrik Lindgren clashed, but the Swede's second place took his side to the brink of glory.
And that was sealed when world champion Tai Woffinden won Heat 14, as Wolves collected their first title since 2009 by an eventual 10-point aggregate margin - 96-86 after losing the second leg 50-42.
Manager Peter Adams said: "This is thoroughly merited and the team deserve this success.
"Belle Vue and Poole may have been the slightly better teams over the course of the season, but it's who's better over four meetings at the end which counts most.
"I've said for many years now, building confidence and getting results is just part of it from March to September - it's what you do in October that really matters and we've come up trumps once again."
Aces boss Mark Lemon said: "Overall it's been a pretty successful year, we're just gutted we couldn't finish the job. We win as a team and lose as a team, and everyone over the course of the season has done their job.
"Losing the championship is a bitter pill to swallow but to make the Grand Final is not a bad thing in front of a packed house. We tried our best and gave it everything but sadly it wasn't enough.
"This team has been tremendous to work with. They're a great bunch of guys who deserve to be successful and even though we lost the title, we still topped the table. So I guess that's something."
Meanwhile, Peter Karlsson confirmed after the win that it was his last appearance for Wolverhampton.
After celebrating his fourth league title in a Monmore career stretching right back to 1990, the 46-year-old said: "I think it goes without saying that Wolverhampton will always hold a special place in my heart after all this time.
"I've had a lot of seasons with them now and while some haven't been easy, years like this one remind you what you do this job for.
"It means a hell of a lot to win another league title but that's it for me now. What a way to go out with Wolverhampton - the boys have been brilliant here this year and they all deserve this league win this year just as much as I do."