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May 13   Tigers 40  Newport 38  (Provincial League)

Two firsts tonight! - Tigers staged their first ever PL meeting and the visitors, Newport, were the first Welsh club to visit the White City. Newport tracked a solid top five with heatleaders, Bradley, Golden and Vandenberg, all having ridden for National League side Southampton in 1963. They were backed up by Geoff Penniket and Jon Erskine who rode for Trevor Redmond at Neath in 1962 before going to Long Eaton on loan in 1963. Their tailend of Vic White and Freddie Powell was their Achilles Heel and one that Tigers managed to exploit.

Both teams tracked their captains at No2 so that their heatleaders would appear in twelve of the thirteen programmed races. The meeting was probably decided by three machine problems in the early races. First Dick Bradley pulled up when leading heat two and with team mate Peter Vandenberg failing to finish in heat three, the Tigers led by four points. However fortunes were reversed in the following race when Maury Mattingley lost his footrest when well placed and failed to finish. Significantly Red Monteith headed home fellow reserve Freddie Powell keeping Tigers ahead by two points.

After repairing his footrest, Maury Mattingly won his remaining two rides. Charlie Monk went on to gain the now inevitable maximum but it was Bill McMillan who finally swung the meeting Tigers way by clinching the vital third place in the final heat, taking his score for the evening to four paid five.

Tigers had won, but only just, and the meeting emphasized how tough the Provincial League was going to be and how urgently the Tigers needed a further signing.

Tigers Scorers

Monk 12; Mattingly 8; Julians 6; Stone 4; McMillan 4; Ovenden 3; Monteith 3:

Newport Scorers

Golden 10; Vandenberg 8; Penniket 7; Bradley 6; Erskine 5; White1; Powell 1:

 

 

 

May 20   Tigers 41  Exeter 36  (Provincial League)

Curiously the program was dated as 18th May throughout! Trevor Redmond described Exeter as “one of the toughest challenges of the season” and that was only at the White City!

Maury Mattingly would certainly be getting to know Exeter’s riders in the next week. He had ridden on Monday at Exeter in the Westward TV trophy, scoring an excellent eleven points, and was due to guest for Rayleigh in their home challenge against the Falcons on Saturday, before leading the Tigers in their opening away PL fixture at the County Ground two days later.

The Tigers heat-leaders laid the foundation for the victory with double figure scores. Charlie Monk again scored a maximum and both Chris Julians and Maury Mattingly scored ten. Incidentally both flew up from London for this meeting.

On a track bumpier than normal due to an earlier stockcar meeting, Bill McMillan charged the fence in his first ride and broke his handlebars. He found it difficult to adapt to the ones he borrowed from Joe Hicks and finished the evening with just one point. Bruce Ovenden turned the meeting Tigers way with a fine five paid six, losing out only to Exeter’s two top scorers, Squibb and Wickett.

Jimmy Squibb top scored for the Falcons with nine, while Ray Wickett, shrewdly listed as reserve for the Falcons, scored seven points on his return to the White City.

The program stated that if Cyril Roger didn’t ride in this meeting hewould definitely have resolved his problems with his strawberry farm to allow him to ride the following week – Hope springs eternal!!

Tigers Scorers

Monk 12; Mattingly 10; Julians 10; Ovenden 5; Monteith 2; Stone 1; McMillan 1:

Exeter Scorers

Squibb 9; Wickett 7; Lukehurst 6; Cowland 5; McDermott 4; Cox 3; Flanagan 2:

 

 

 

 

May 25   Exeter 43  Tigers 35   (Provincial League)

Chris Julians and Maury Mattingly were scheduled to ride at the County Ground for three consecutive weeks! They had ridden in the Westward TV trophy, scoring eight and eleven respectively and after tonight would be returning the following week – to ride for Scotland along with Maury McDermott in a four-team event. Sadly the latter meeting was postponed.

This meeting went ahead on a very heavy track after a weekend of continual rain. There was a blank space in the Tigers line-up in the forlorn hope that Cyril Roger might appear. Sadly Tigers fans were disappointed again, but Trevor Redmond donned his leathers once more and scored a creditable six points, winning heats four and eight before tiring on the heavy track.

Chris Julians relished the short journey from his Redruth home. He top scored with ten while Maury Mattingly blew his engine and made little impression on borrowed bikes. A repeat of his previous weeks score of eleven would have won us the meeting! It was possibly no surprise that Maury’s engine blew – he had ridden in five meetingsin the last eight days!

Charlie Monk was unbeaten until his last ride when he missed the gate and got badly filled in at the first bend …. and on a wet night at Exeter that’s trouble! Bill McMillan displayed no phobia about the County Ground and got a creditable four points, the same as his last visit with Edinburgh the previous year. While thirty-five points may not seem an amazing score, it would be nearly ten years before Tigers bettered this total in Devon …and nearly thirty years before they managed a win.

Tigers Scorers

Julians 10; Monk 9; Redmond 6; McMillan 4; Mattingly 3; Stone 2; Ovenden 1:

Exeter Scorers

Cowland 11; Squibb 10; McDermott 7; Cox 6; Lukehurst 6;  Byford 3: Wickett 0:

 

 

 

May 26   Long Eaton  45  Tigers  33   (Provincial League)

This was Tigers first ever visit to Station Road but Charlie Monk had spent he previous season on loan to the Archers and had finished as their top scorer so hopefully he had passed on some tips about how to ride the track. Judging by their scores, his teammates didn’t seem to benefit from any advice!

Maury Mattingly had been unable to repair his blown motor and did not feature in the line-up. Tigers borrowed local second halfer Ken Vale to make up their numbers. Chris Julians continued his run of good form with another double figure score, eleven from five rides.

                Charlie Monk top scored with fourteen and was only beaten by Eric Boothroyd in heat nine although he came out on top in their other two clashes. However beyond Monk and Julians, Tigers had little to offer, although Bruce Ovenden’s points were two hard earned third places, featuring in two 4 - 2 heat wins with Charlie Monk. Charlie beat Ray Wilson in heat seven which ultimately deprived the youngster of his first maximum. Ray Wilson was to cause quite a stir a few days later at Edinburgh when a last bend dive saw both him and Monarch’s Willie Templeton end up in the fence. The steward decided that there would be no exclusions and that neither rider was deemed to be a finisher!

Tigers Scorers

Monk 14; Julians 11; Redmond 3; Ovenden 2; Vale 2; McMillan 1; Stone 0:

Long Eaton Scorers

Wilson 11; Boothroyd 10; Bodie 7; Storer 6; Sharpe 6; Adams 3: Mills 2:

 

 

Elsewhere:

It was reported that Trevor Redmond would be reopening St Austell for a short summer season with Chris Julians being joined by George Major, Glyn Chandler, Jon Erskine and Ray Wickett.  Chris Blewett would also ride being “almost fit enough for a return to the saddle”

 

 

 

May 29   Tigers  39   Poole 39  (Provincial League)

Tony Lewis, Poole’s veteran captain had previously ridden at the White City in 1953 but it was not known whether he passed on any tips about the Paisley Road West circuit to his teammates.  Pirates arrived at the White City for their third meeting in as many nights, having previously ridden at Poole and Sheffield. Like Newport and Exeter before them, Poole were expected to be a very solid side with Tony Lewis, Geoff Mudge and Anglo Scot Ross Gilbertson providing their spearhead.

It certainly lived up to expectations with only two points between the teams until heat seven when a 4-2 levelled the scores. Charlie Monk fell in heat nine and spoiled his unbeaten home Provincial League record but finished ahead of Ross Gilbertson and Tim Bungay in the last heat decider to ensure Tigers gained their first draw of the season. Chris Julians continued his run of fine form, scoring ten, his fourth consecutive double figure score. Maury Mattingly scored eight on a borrowed bike after his own, now repaired following a major blow out at Exeter, got delayed on the flight north. Bruce Ovenden scored a fine seven paid nine which was much valued as the other second strings struggled against the Pirates all round strength and only scored points against the hapless Norman Strachan.

Sadly there was no sign of Cyril Roger who apparently was still trying to find some one to tend his strawberry farm

Tigers Scorers

Julians 10; Monk 9; Mattingly 8; Ovenden 7; McMillan 2; Monteith 2; Stone 1:

Poole Scorers

Gilbertson 10; Smith 7; Mudge 6; Lewis 5; Bungay 5; Munday 5; Strachan 1:

 

This was the first Friday meeting and it drew the best crowd of the season and Tigers were now looking to make Friday their regular race night. Curiously Hackney were also to opt for a similar swap a couple of weeks later.

Despite a number of internationals and open meetings, this was to prove to be Ross Gilbertson’s only appearance of the season.

 

 

 

June 3     Scotland v England v Wales v Overseas

Scotland won this meeting with 36 points narrowly heading Wales on 29. England and Overseas brought up the rear with 19 and 12 respectively.

Doug Templeton scored a maximum and George Hunter with eleven and Charlie Monk on ten also scored well. Ivan Mauger fell while challenging George Hunter in his first outing and was also beaten by Doug Templeton to finish the night with an uncharacteristic eight points. Chris Julians had a mixed night with two falls and a third place in his first three rides before beating Charlie Monk in his final outing. Maury Mattingly top scored for England with five. The letters page asked if Cyril Roger was still coming to Glasgow and Trevor Redmond’s short answer was “I doubt it”!

This meeting was to have been the second of a three meeting series staged this week. Exeter were due to have staged the first round two nights earlier, with Newport running the final round at the end of the week. The Exeter meeting was rained off and the meetings were treated as “stand alone” which was probably for the best as riders adopted and swapped nationalities with gay abandon! Maury Mattingly, Chris Julians and Maury McDermott were programmed to ride for Scotland at Exeter with the two Tigers reverting to England for the meeting at the White City. Meanwhile down at Newport, Maury again changed teams joining a Scottish team, which included Les McGillivray and Vic White!! And Charlie Monk was in the Overseas side!

Exeter finally staged their leg at the end of June when Edinburgh were fortuitously scheduled to be riding at Poole that same week so Scotland tracked the Templetons and George Hunter…. And Howdy Byford! with Maury Mattingly reverting to England 

Some good racing but some crazy teams!

 

 

 

June 10    Tigers  35   Wolverhampton 42  (Provincial League)

Over the years, it often seemed that Tigers opponents would make some useful signings immediately before a Tigers fixture. This was the first occasion it happened and Wolves did it in some style, by signing not one but two riders from Sunderland whose closure was only announced the previous evening! Obviously this was the worst kept secret in speedway, as the program included both Colin McKee and Jim Airey in the Wolves line up and the program cover featured a photo of Jim Airey!

The debutants were to have a night of contrasting fortunes. Jim Airey fell heavily in his first race and took no further part in the meeting. Colin McKee proved to be Wolves match winner with seven points from five rides. His extra ride came when, as Supplementary Reserve, he was controversially allowed to replace the injured Airey.  Supplementary Reserves were only entitled to replace injured reserves NOT other team members.

The meeting seemed to be progressing Tigers way with the home team leading by five points after heat five but a 5-1 from McKee and Hemus put Wolves back into contention. Then, McKee’s controversial appearance in heat eight saw another Wolves 5-1, when Red Monteith ran into Harry Edwards back wheel and was carried off unconscious. Thankfully he came round fairly quickly in the dressing room. With McKee featuring in two 4-2s in his final rides Wolves ran out comfortable winners.

Chris Julians fine run of good form came to an end, although he had a fall and an engine failure in two of his rides. Bill McMillan, too, was struggling for form and seemed to be still feeling the effects of his heavy spill at Newcastle a few weeks earlier. Charlie Monk was brought in as a tactical substitute in heat twelve, the first time Tigers had used one at the White City. He duly won the race before going out again in the following heat where the impressive Pete Jarman beat him. No maximum for Charlie tonight!

Tigers Scorers

Monk 14; Mattingly 6; Stone 5: Ovenden 4; Julians 3; Monteith 2; McMillan 1;

Wolverhampton Scorers

Jarman 10; Hemus 9; McKee 7; Francis 7; Sweetman 5; Edwards 4; Airey 0

With Red Monteith likely to be out until the end of the month, Trevor Redmond decided to make a comeback and decided he needed to get some practice. He managed to collar the Wolves management to get a booking to ride for the “All Stars” in a challenge match at Wolverhampton where he subsequently scored five

 

 

June 17    Tigers  59   Sheffield  37  (K O Cup)

With Red Monteith on the injured list, Trevor Redmond turned out at number two, partnering Maury Mattingly, as Tigers, with the benefit of a sixteen heat meeting, ran up their highest score of the season against the Northern League champions.  Clive Featherby, although programmed, once again didn’t make it to Glasgow. Perhaps he was disheartened by only scoring one point when crossing the border to ride at Edinburgh a few days previously.

Maury Mattingly, Chris Julians and Charlie Monk all scored double figures, as Glasgow dominate the “battle of the Tigers”. Jack Kitchen beat Charlie Monk twice on his way to a sixteen points haul but apart from an impressive John Dews who scored fourteen Sheffield had little to offer.

Tigers fans went home happy believing they now had a team which could compete with the best in the Provincial League.

Tigers Scorers

Monk 13; Mattingly 12; Julians 11; Redmond 9; Ovenden 6; McMillan 5; Stone 3: 

Sheffield Scorers

Kitchen 16; Dews 14; Roper 3; Handscombe 2; Bagley 1; Oliver 1; A Jay 0:

 

 

Elsewhere:

Former Tiger Ray Wickett broke his wrist as Exeter lost to Wolverhampton for whom Colin McKee proved to be a lucky talisman as they won their second away meeting in a week. This proved to be Ray’s final meeting, as he never subsequently made a real comeback

 

 

 

June 18    Sheffield  42   Tigers  36     (Provincial League)

Tigers completely erased the memory of their earlier Northern League debacle and were unlucky not to win a highly controversial meeting. Tigers reversed their opening pairing order with Trevor Redmond lining up at number one and partner Maury Mattingly at two. The pair opened with a 5-1 but two 4-2 s for Sheffield evened the scores before a 5-1 by Kitchen and Oliver over Chris Julians and Terry Stone gave Sheffield a four point lead. Maury Mattingly completed a brilliant twelve point maximum by winning heat nine when he gave Jack Kitchen his only defeat of the evening. Tigers trailled by two points as Chris Julians and Terry Stone lined up against Featherby and Alan Jay in heat eleven, which saw Jay fall after a very tight first bend. The race was stopped and the riders were returning to the pits before it was announced that Terry Stone had been excluded. Alan Jay then attacked Terry at the pits gate and a melee erupted as riders and mechanics joined in the fracas, which required police intervention before order was restored. Julians won the rerun but John Dews beat Charlie Monk and Trevor Redmond in heat twelve to maintain Sheffield’s two point advantage. Sadly, in the last heat, Kitchen and Jay, now in calmer vein, jetted from the tapes and clinched a 5-1 to give Sheffield a 42-36 victory.

In the second half Chris Julians lost control and hurtled into the fence sustaining a fractured skull and a broken arm. His condition was initially described as “critical” but thankfully he improved. However it seemed certain that he would be out for the season. Maury Mattingly cleaned up the second half, winning the final from Charlie Monk, John Dews and Jack Kitchen. A truly excellent display from our captain and one which backed up program columnist Reg Whittaker, whose review stated that he expected Maury to “cause a few shocks tonight”

Tigers Scorers

Mattingly 12; Monk 10; Julians 7; Redmond 4; Stone 2; McMillan 1; Ovenden 0: 

Sheffield Scorers

Kitchen 11; Dews 9; Featherby 7;Bagley 6; Oliver 4; A Jay 4; Roper 1:

 

Travel Note

Bruce Ovenden arrived in good time for this meeting with no incidents en route and no doubt eased Frank Varey’s blood pressure. His two previous trips to Owlerton had been decidedly fraught. He had broken down when travelling down for the Tigers Northern League meeting in April and despite hiring a replacement car hadn’t arrived in time to ride. He also had a booking for a Kiwis side in early June and embarrassingly his van again broke down. Fortunately he managed to get it going this time and arrived in time for his first race.

 

 

 

June 22    Newcastle  51   Tigers  26     (Provincial League)

Tigers created a unique record by having only three riders who actually scored points! Maury Mattingly continued riding at number two with Trevor Redmond lining up at three and Charlie Monk at five. This meant that one of the three was programmed to be in every heat other than heat eight, into which Charlie was brought as a tactical substitute. The remaining Tigers had a desperate time and didn’t manage to beat anyone!

A local correspondent describes the meeting as “one the Glasgow boys will want to forget”

Charlie Monk provided the sole highlight of the meeting by beating Ivan Mauger in heat three although Ivan gained revenge by winning their subsequent meeting in heat twelve and went on to successfully retain his Silver Sash title when Charlie fell after three hectic laps.

Tigers Scorers

Monk 14; Redmond 9; Mattingly 3; Stone 0; McMillan 0; Ovenden 0; Hanlin 0: 

Newcastle Scorers

Mauger 11; Sharples 9; Watkins 8;Andrew 8; Allan 6; Winstanley 5; Kelly 4:

 

 

 

June 24    Tigers  37   Edinburgh  41     (Provincial League)

Edinburgh arrived at the White City in confident mood. They were league leaders and had only been defeated twice in the last six weeks. Once in the league at Exeter (nuff said!) and the other a narrow defeat in a controversial KO Cup tie at Cradley where Doug Templeton’s attempt to secure a match winning 5-0 in the last heat saw him excluded when both Cradley riders ended up in the first bend fence!

Both teams tracked their respective captains at number two, but, from Tigers point of view, this ploy failed when they met in heat four and Maury Mattingly suffered engine trouble. The resultant 5-1 increased Edinburgh’s lead to eight points. However consecutive 4-2 s with Charlie Monk beating George Hunter and Trevor Redmond heading Doug Templeton reduced the deficit to four.

Heat eight saw a really nasty crash. Bill Landels, never the smoothest of stylists, got into trouble coming out of the fourth bend and caught his footrest in the fence. This caused him to fall right in the path of the close following Bruce Ovenden, who managed to avoid the sprawling Landels by ploughing into his bike. Landels sustained damaged knee ligaments and Ovenden a broken collarbone in a crash, which hardened observers reckoned could have been much worse. Landels helmet, split right down the middle was a testament to this. Once again, a liberal interpretation of the Supplementary Reserve rule allowed Bill McMillan to replace Ovenden, and, partnered by Eric Hanlin, they scored a 5-1 over Edinburgh’s Tannock to level the scores. Tigers then took the lead for the first, and only, time in heat ten with a Monk/Stone 4-2 over Doug Templeton. However Tigers fans joy was short lived as an Edinburgh 5-1 courtesy of Wayne Briggs and Willie Templeton restored Edinburgh’s lead which was increased to four points by a heat twelve 4-2.

Tigers went into the last heat needing a 5-1 for a draw, but, while Charlie Monk duly won the heat to complete his maximum, George Hunter and Willie Templeton shut out Bill McMillan to share the heat and clinch the meeting for Edinburgh, who now looked a good bet for the Provincial League title 

On finding there was at least two hours to wait at the hospital, Bruce Ovenden coolly went out to the nearest pub for a beer! The nurses were not too pleased when he returned well refreshed! 

Tigers Scorers

Monk 12; Mattingly 7; Redmond 7; McMillan 4; Hanlin 4; Stone 2; Ovenden 1:

Edinburgh Scorers

D Templeton 10; Briggs 10; Hunter 10; W Templeton 5;Tannock 3; Wells2; Landels 1:

 

 

 

 

July 3    Tigers  44   Long Eaton  34     (Provincial League)

Tigers were now in deep trouble, with Julians and Ovenden on the injured list. Fortunately they were racing fellow strugglers Long Eaton, for whom Eric Boothroyd, the third top scorer in the Provincial League behind Ivan Mauger and Charlie Monk, was unavailable. His greengrocery business meant he could not race on Fridays! Tigers had signed, Vic Ridgeon who had previously ridden for the recently closed Sunderland Saints. They also listed Chris Blewett, who was returning from an arm injury sustained while riding for Trevor Redmond’s St Austell side at the end of 1963, but he failed to get insurance clearance. Rather strangely, Gordon Mitchell rather than Eric Hanlin, who certainly had not let the side down when scoring four points in the previous weeks local derby, replaced him.

In an entertaining meeting, held before a good crowd, on the first of the now regular Friday race nights, Charlie Monk again registered a maximum. He received good support from fellow heatleaders Trevor Redmond and Maury Mattingly, who scored eleven and nine respectively. Bill McMillan had his best night for quite some time with a seven paid nine score. Vic Ridgeon made a quiet debut with four, but Terry Stone’s nil from three rides was the cause for some concern.

For the visitors, Ken Adams ten points included wins over Redmond and Mattingly and he received good support from Norman Storer and young Ray Wilson. Long Eaton were no doubt ruing agreeing to the change of race night as Eric Boothroyd, who would have been available for the original Wednesday fixture, would certainly have swung the meeting their way.

Tigers Scorers

Monk 12; Redmond 11; Mattingly 9; McMillan 7; Ridgeon 4; Mitchell 1; Stone 0:

Long Eaton Scorers

Adams 10; Storer 9; Wilson 7; Sharp 3; Mills 3; Day 2; Vale 0:

 

 

 

 

July 10    Tigers  31   Newcastle  46     (Provincial League)

If Tigers were fortunate in the Long Eaton meeting, then Lady Luck evened things up with a vengeance tonight! Chris Blewett obtained insurance clearance, apparently after a try out at St Austell, and drove over 500 miles for this meeting. However, he pulled up in his first race, realising he was nowhere near fit and retired from the meeting.

Our heatleaders ran into bike trouble big time. Maury Mattingly’s bike developed magneto problems while Charlie Monk suffered a dropped valve and by the end of heat five Tigers trailled by 22-7. Even this early, the meeting was effectively over. Charlie Monk lost out to Ivan Mauger twice in the league meeting and, despite NOT being the top scorer, challenged Mauger for the Silver Sash. Charlie had to borrow a bike for the match race, and, not surprisingly, trailled in some distance behind Mauger.

Vic Ridgeon was right out of touch and failed to score from three starts. Indeed, only Trevor Redmond, with thirteen points from five rides, could look back on this meeting with any pride. While it was a bad defeat, it could have been worse. Newcastle were without Ken Sharples and his replacement was junior Milton Caisley, who only managed one point.

Ironically Tigers were due to meet Sheffield tonight, but the fixtures were swapped after the KO Cup draw paired both sets of Tigers just three weeks earlier. 

Tigers Scorers

Redmond 13; Monk 9; McMillan 5; Stone 3; Mattingly 1; Ridgeon 0; Blewett 0:

Newcastle Scorers

Mauger 12; Kelly 11; Allan 7; Andrew 6; Watkins 5; Dent 4; Caisley 1:

 

 

 

July 15    Tigers  46   Newport  49  (K O Cup)

The program was dated the 17th throughout – presumably the printers had read the piece about Friday meetings! After the Newcastle debacle, promoter Redmond rang the changes. Tigers signed Graham Coombes on loan for the rest of the season. Unsurprisingly, both Vic Ridgeon and Chris Blewett were rested. Despite being less than fully fit, Bruce Ovenden was persuaded into making a comeback only three weeks after breaking his collarbone.

Newport again proved to be a solid outfit and, if anything, second strings Erskine and Penniket improved on their previous performances in May. Tigers went into heat twelve six points down and quite a fracas ensued after Jon Erskine knocked off former boss Redmond. This certainly got the crowd going and added to the atmosphere of the closing heats. Tigers whittled away the Wasps lead, but went into the last heat decider three points down. Unfortunately, although Charlie Monk won the heat to complete a fifteen-point maximum, Erskine and Vandenberg combined to shut out Graham Coombes. Maury Mattingly and Trevor Redmond gave Charlie good support with thirteen and ten points respectively but Tigers second strings found the going tough and got most of their points by beating the hapless Vic White.

Following the meeting Terry Stone, who had been staying in Glasgow sharing a flat with Bruce Ovenden and Joe Hicks, announced his retirement saying he couldn’t make the sport pay.

Tigers Scorers

Monk 15; Mattingly 13; Redmond 10; Ovenden 4; Stone 2; McMillan 1; Coombes 1:

Newport Scorers

Penniket 11;Vandenberg 11; Golden 10; Erskine 8; Bradley 7; Harris 2; White 0:

 

The program stated that negotiations were in progress for a rider of “near star class” and efforts were being made to persuade him to join the Tigers over the next two weeks. There was considerable speculation about the mystery rider’s identity. Sadly Tommy Miller’s health was not robust enough to permit a comeback. It was also unlikely that it could be a disaffected National League second string, of whom there were a few, as Tigers would not be prepared to enter into the, by now, inevitable legal action, that this would involve. No signing was ever made. It now seems most likely that the rider was Don Wilkinson who had ridden for the Tigers in the 1950s. Ian Hoskins had been in contact with him but after a disappointing second half ride at Edinburgh he decided against a comeback. Anyway, in all probability he would have signed for Edinburgh after the Monarchs lost Wayne Briggs for the season when he was injured at Newport.

 

 

 

July 17    Wolverhampton  39   Tigers  38     (Provincial League)

This was Fair Friday and it was no surprise that it was pouring! Tigers came the closest to an away win yet. They tracked three former Wolves in Maury Mattingly, Trevor Redmond and Vic Ridgeon and were three points up going into the last heat but conceded a 5-1 to lose the meeting by one point.

            A real “if only” meeting

“if only” Graham Coombes hadn’t had engine failure in heat eleven, in which there were only two finishers. His third place would have earned Tigers a draw

“if only” Vic Ridgeon had beaten Gordon Guasco in heat twelve, just like he had done twice before

“if only” Trevor Redmond had made the gate in his last race instead of missing the gate, getting filled in at the first bend and trailling in last

“if only” Terry Stone, another former Wolf hadn’t retired earlier in the week. A point from him would have swung the meeting Tigers way

A good performance from Tigers second strings saw three of them set up season best scores for away meetings. Graham Coombes scored three paid six from three completed rides while Bruce Ovenden and Vic Ridgeon each had four paid five. Charlie Monk and Maury Mattingly both had an excellent meeting with double figure scores but neither could manage to head the highly impressive Pete Jarman who, for once, had made light of the wet conditions

Tigers Scorers

Monk 11; Mattingly 10; Redmond 6; Ovenden 4; Ridgeon 4; Coombes 3; McMillan 0:

Wolverhampton Scorers

Jarman 12; Sweetman 10; Francis 7; Bond 5; Airey 4; Guasco 1; Edwards 0:

 

 

 

July 22    Poole  43   Tigers  35     (Provincial League)

Poole’s all round strength continued to confound the Tigers second strings. Indeed, if Trevor Redmond had not fallen in heat two and allowed Graham Coombes a point, Tigers would again have achieved the “impossible” of only having three scorers!

Maury Mattingly enjoyed the short trip from his Southampton home and recorded twelve paid thirteen. Charlie Monk, who had tried to break into the Poole team in 1962, returned to show the Pirates exactly what they missed by scoring a five ride fifteen point maximum, equalling his highest score of the season. For good measure he went on to win the second half with Maury Mattingley finishing second.

Trevor Redmond scored seven from five rides and showed there was still plenty of life left in the old dog by riding in all three of the last heats. Chris Blewett was now apparently match fit but fell in his first race sustaining facial injuries. He didn’t take his other programmed races and never rode for the Tigers again. Bill McMillan missed his first meeting of the season and was possibly on holiday.

Tigers Scorers

Monk 15; Mattingly 12; Redmond 7; Coombes 1; Ovenden 0; Ridgeon 0; Blewett 0:

Poole Scorers

Mudge 10; Gilbertson 8; Taylor 7; Lewis 6; Smith 6; Strachan 4; Munday 2:

 

Elsewhere:

                Cyril Roger was reported to have been at West Ham and was claiming that his bike only needed warming up to be ready for riding. However despite his strawberry farm commitments being at their lightest, he never did turn out for the Hammers.

Charlie Monk won the Scottish Match Race championship by defeating Doug Templeton 2-0 at Old Meadowbank.

 Middlesboro bucked the trend of moving to Friday race nights by moving from Fridays to Thursdays in attempt to boost their flagging gates.

 

                Tigers fans were astounded to see that the draw for PLRC included Chris Julians name in the Glasgow round on August 7th. He had been expected to be out for the season but a dramatic and much needed comeback seemed to be on the cards!

 

 

 

July 24    Hackney  49   Tigers  29     (Provincial League)

After a couple of days in the Dorset sunshine, Tigers headed up to Hackney for their first ever visit to Waterden Road. Terry Stone, now staying locally, was drafted in to replace the injured Chris Blewett. He scored three from the reserve berth but again the second strings struggled. Unusually Charlie Monk rode at number six and scored eleven paid twelve from five rides, following home his boss Redmond in heat thirteen for a rare bonus point. Maury Mattingly and Trevor Redmond both scored seven from five starts but didn’t really trouble the Hackney heatleaders. Vic Ridgeon was again scoreless and this proved to be his final meeting for the Tigers.

                Not a great meeting for Tigers fans, who also had to contend with the appearance of Johnnie Hoskins on the centre green at the interval! The second half featured a “Queen of Cinders” match race, which Hackney’s Mary Mansfield won by beating Rosita Mattingly, wife of Maury

Tigers Scorers

Monk 11; Mattingly 7; Redmond 7; Stone 3; Ovenden 1; Coombes 0; Ridgeon 0:

Hackney Scorers

Pratt 12; Trigg 9; L McGillivray 8; Poyser 6; S McGillivray 6; Heard 5; Davies 3: