Lakeside Hammers chief Jon Cook has sung the praises of supporters who have turned out in force to support the club in their bid for silverware.

After reaching the Championship Shield Final with a hugely impressive aggregate win over Peterborough, the sides meet again in the Championship Play-offs this weekend.

Hammers host the first leg at their new Rye House base on Saturday (7pm start) with the return at the East of England Arena the following day (5pm).

And Cook says he is looking for more support this weekend as the season nears its climax.

“Stuart Douglas (club owner) and I would like to place on record our thanks to the Hammers and Rockets fans who through necessity have had to have two double headers as our introduction to Rye House,” said Cook.

“We thank them for the incredible numbers that have come out in support despite the high admission cost necessary.

“We are very much looking forward to putting on a more relaxed ‘show’ over 15 heats this week with normal admission prices and no supplementary charges for our loyal season ticket holders. Roll on Saturday night.”

Hammers will now face Workington in the Championship Shield Final – again over two legs (date to be confirmed).

But Cook is now focusing on the play-off semi-final following a season of highs and lows.

Cook added of the Championship Shield win: “Congratulations to the lads on a job well done, when we switched homes it was to accommodate more fixtures and it’s apt that the opponents will be Workington who themselves have had plenty of fixture problems thrown their way.

“It’ll be a friendly final off track given the bond between both club riders that occurred in the aftermath of Dan Bewley’s horrendous accident and meeting abandonment but on track it’ll be fierce stuff.

“But this Saturday it’s Groundhog Day again as Peterborough’s choice to make the most of our lack of home track advantage means a third successive visit, not good for business unless you reach a cup final, which of course we have.

“And as good as they are at Rye House we are rather enjoying our trips to Peterborough too!”

The Hammers had led by 10 points from Saturday’s first leg against Peterborough, and they defended the lead impressively with a narrow 46-44 reverse on the night easily enough for them to progress.

Heat-leaders Richard Lawson, Nick Morris and Adam Ellis were all multiple race winners as the Panthers were never allowed to build up a head of steam, and guest Josh Pickering also played an important part with paid-10.