July 2 Tigers 64 Sheffield 32 (K O Cup)
We have seen this before! Just like last year, Tigers drew Sheffield at home in the KO Cup and again ran up the highest score of the season. Jack Kitchen again was the only resistance and again stopped the Monk and Mattingly maximum bids.
There was little excitement in the heats that did not feature Jack Kitchen although Graham Coombes fell in heat eight and managed to remount and pass Sheffield’s Bob Paulson. Bruce Ovenden continued his fine form and was unbeaten by the opposition in his two rides from the reserve berth.
Tigers were drawn at home to Swindon in the next round. The Robins, led by Barry Briggs, were stiff opposition in the recent league meeting and a cracking tie is in prospect.
Monk 14; Mattingly 14; Scott 10; Paulsen 9; Templeton 8; Ovenden 5; Coombes 4:
Kitchen 16; Featherby 6; Dews 4; Bales 2; Jay 2; Paulson 2; Kirkham 0:
July 9 Tigers 53 Cradley 25 (British League)
Cradley were missing Ivor Brown and George Major, both of whom were on the injured list, but fortunately had signed Leo McAuliffe as a replacement. He top scored for the Heathens with ten points and put an end to the maximum hopes of Nils Paulsen, Bluey Scott and Bruce Ovenden. Chris Julians was in subdued mood on his return to the White City and finished the evening with four.
Charlie Monk scored a maximum and showed no sign of fatigue despite racing for Great Britain in the first three test matches against Russia in the preceding four nights. In the first test at Wimbledon, he scored fourteen and, apart from a fall, was only beaten by Sokolov, Russia’s top scorer. It was a different story at Coventry when, after taking seven paid eight from his first three rides, he got involved in a bout of Russian roulette and a heavy fall saw him retire from the meeting with damaged wrists. However he recovered to ride the following night at Sheffield where he was paid for sixteen, being headed twice by Igor Plechanov.
Monk 12; Paulsen 11; Templeton 8; Scott 8; Coombes 5; Mattingly 5; Ovenden 4:
McAuliffe 10; Hart 5; Hockaday 4; Julians 4; Bungay 1; Cooper 1; Mattocks 0:
Tragically, West Ham reserve Dave Wills was killed in a track crash at Custom House.
Also at West Ham, the Hammers gained Control Board approval to sign Cyril Roger and arranged for him to attend a special trial session. He didn’t turn up – anyone surprised?
July 10 Scotland 51 Soviet Union 57 (Edinburgh)
Despite the terrible conditions, it was decided to go ahead with what was surely the biggest meeting to be staged in Scotland to date. A crowd of over 8,000 braved the rain in Edinburgh’s spartan Old Meadowbank stadium.
Neither Ross Gilbertson nor Gordon McGregor was able to cope with the conditions and it was left to Scotland’s big three to take the fight to the Russians. However the visitors had too much all round strength, which told in the end. Plechanov was magnificent and, apart from being beaten by George Hunter in heat four, his only other slip was when mechanical trouble caused him to trail in last in his final outing.
G Hunter 15; McKinlay 13; Monk 13; Gilbertson 4; McGregor 2; McKee 2; Harkins 2; W Templeton 0:
Soviet Union Scorers
Plechanov 14; Sokolov 11; Moiseyev 10; Chekranov 8; Kadirov 7; Kurilenko 7:
July 15 Tigers 43 Wolverhampton 34 (British League)
Tigers had to reschedule this fixture as Charlie Monk was selected to ride in the fourth and fifth test matches against the Russians at Belle Vue on the 14th and Newport on the 16th.
Charlie arrived at the White City having aggravated his wrist injuries the previous night at Belle Vue when he had to pull out of the meeting after three rides having scored three paid four. Despite this, only an engine failure stopped him compiling a full score against the Wolves. This was one of the few meetings where he wasn’t the top scorer and unfortunately he missed out on challenging Bob Andrews for the Silver Sash. Nils Paulsen scored his first, and only paid maximum, but lost out in the sash match race.
Wolves put out Andrews as a tactical in heat eleven and along with partner, Sweetman took a 5-1. This reduced Tigers lead to six points in a match that they had always been well in charge. However a 4-2 from Bluey Scott and Graham Coombes in the next race clinched the league points.
Paulsen 11; Monk 9; Templeton 8; Scott 8; Coombes 5; Ovenden 2; Mattingly 0:
Andrews 13; Francis 6; Sweetman 6; Guasco 5; Airey 2; Bond 2; Maxted 0:
Charlie scored paid thirteen at Newport in the final test against the Russians. He ended up the top scorer in this series and only Barry Briggs and Nigel Boocock had higher averages. He could have been excused for taking the weekend off but lined up for Cowdenbeath in what proved to be their last ever meeting , beating a Rest of Scotland team 42-35. Bluey Scott with a maximum and Charlie Monk and Willie Templeton with ten each were the top scorers for Fife. Graham Coombes was best for the Rest with ten points, which included beating Charlie Monk twice.
July 19 Newcastle 48 Tigers 30 (British League)
Tigers didn’t enjoy their Fair Monday trip to Brough Park. Charlie Monk nearly took the top off his thumb while cutting his tyres prior to the meeting. He rejected any treatment and gave a brave performance, having three titanic battles with Ivan Mauger, winning these personal clashes 2-1.
Nils Paulsen confirmed his current status as Tigers number two with an impressive eight points from five starts. Heat leaders Bluey Scott and Maury Mattingly contributed little to the Tigers cause. Brough Park was notorious for being deep and rough and unsurprisingly Maury Mattingly failed to score in his two outings. Bluey Scott fared little better, managing only three points, taken in races where he outpaced Ken Sharples. Graham Coombes fell heavily in his first ride and was a passenger thereafter.
The first leg of the July Golden Helmet challenge preceded the meeting. This saw Barry Briggs convincingly defeat George Hunter 2-0. It was an indication of Scotland’s high standing that the first three challengers had been Monk, McKinlay and Hunter.
Monk 13; Paulsen 8; Templeton 5; Scott 3; Coombes 1; McMillan 0; Mattingly 0:
Mauger 11; Kelly 11; Craven 9; Watkins 7; Brett 4; Dent 4; Sharples 2:
July 23 Hackney v Tigers (British League) - Rained Off
Torrential rain caused this meeting to be postponed. With both teams having a Friday race night, there were going to be problems in finding a suitable rescheduled date. George Hunter was at Hackney for the second leg of his Golden Helmet challenge with Barry Briggs. He had a long journey back to Edinburgh for the league meeting the following night against West Ham. Sadly it too was rained off!
Tigers made the short trip to Kings Lynn for a challenge match the following day and being good visitors they obligingly lose 40-38!
July 30 World Championship British Semi Final (White City)
Charlie Monk maintained his unbeaten record in the World Championships by winning this British semi final with an unbeaten fifteen points. His home track advantage certainly showed through as he came from the back in a field, which was generally considered to be the easier semi final. Bluey Scott was drawn in the Poole semi and scored one point there, ending his interest in the championship.
Qualifiers from the White City were: Charlie Monk 15; Trevor Hedge 14; Brian Brett 13; Ivan Mauger 11; Colin Goody 10 ; Bob Andrews 8; Bill Andrew 8; Peter Vandenberg 8
Poole qualifiers were Nigel Boocock, Barry Briggs, Ken McKinlay, Jimmy Gooch, Ronnie Genz, Reg Luckhurst, Mike Broadbanks and Gordon Guasco. The British Final was to be staged at West Ham on August 24th and the top six scorers would represent Britain at the World Final at Wembley in September.