Rossiter hails the riders as Robins land Elite League trophy
Swindon Robins are celebrating their first top-flight league title for 45 years, after seeing off Poole Pirates in the Elite League Grand Final.
The Robins took a seven-point led into Monday's second leg at Wimborne Road – and clinched overall victory in heat 12. After trailing for most of the evening, the Pirates eventually won 45-44 on the night, but the hosts could not stop the Robins taking a 95-89 aggregate victory.
Peter Kildemand (11 points) and Simon Stead (eight) were Swindon's top scorers on Monday. Poole's Krzysztof Kasprzak (16) led the way in scoring for the Pirates thanks to wins in the last three heats, which were 'dead rubbers' with the trophy already on its way back to Blunsdon.
It all added up to the Robins' first British speedway title since 1967.
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Captain Hans Andersen said: "I won it in 2006 (with Peterborough Panthers), but this is even better, it's awesome. The whole team has been amazing, and we deserve this."
What made the Robins' triumph remarkable was their last-place finish in 2011. Team manager Alun Rossiter, who returned to his home town club from Coventry Bees at the start of this season, said: "It was really tough, the Robins were down at the bottom and everyone had a hard time. But I've come back and look what has happened.
"It's an amazing achievement. It's all down to the riders because they are the ones who have made it happen, and I've just helped along the way. We've done the town proud," Rossiter added.
Promoter and co-owner Gary Patchett said: "If anybody has got to take the credit for this it is Rosco (Rossiter). It's been a team effort and we've had ten great guys in the team who have all done their bit, but Rosco's enthusiasm is infectious.
"As soon as we got the result beyond doubt, after we had said a bit to the riders the first people I wanted to share us with were the fans.
"They've been fantastic and stuck by us through thick and thin over the last two years. They really are our eighth man on our travels and they're a credit to the club."
Rossiter dedicated the win to former rider Malcolm Holloway, who passed away in May, and Robins legend Leigh Adams as he continues his rehabilitation from a serious back injury.
Swindon fans can join in the club's title celebrations at their end of season function this Friday.
A limited number of tickets are left for the dinner and dance, featuring all the Robins riders and management along with the Elite League Championship trophy.
The event takes place at De Vere Village Hotel and includes a three-course meal and live entertainment.
Tickets are available by calling Swindon Speedway on 07003 921235.