May 1 Belle Vue 36 Tigers 42 (British League)
May the first and it was Belle Vue who were shouting “Mayday Mayday” as Dick Fisher had injured his shoulder the previous night at Wolverhampton. With no rider replacement scheme or guests, he bravely opted to give it a go. Sadly for the Aces, he had to withdraw after two pointless rides. Tigers’ heatleaders were in impressive form and all scored double figures with Charlie Monk scoring a paid maximum, his only one of the season. Maury Mattingly’s eleven was to prove to be his best away score of the season. Graham Coombes revelled on his return to his former track and scores a match deciding four paid five from three rides. Glasgow had now won two away meetings out of three and this win took them back to the top of the league.
Monk 11; Mattingly 11; Scott 10; Coombes 4; Templeton 3; Paulsen 2; Ovenden 1:
Belle Vue Scorers
Levai 10; Maidment 10; McGregor 8; Nevitt 5; Yacoby 3; Fisher 0; Kirkham 0:
May 7 Tigers 54 Exeter 24 (British League)
On a wet murky night, Tigers got back on the rails after the previous weeks home defeat. Exeter managed just twenty four points at Sheffield the previous night and struggled to match this total after a poor start which saw them sixteen points down after heat five. Bluey Scott, Charlie Monk and reserve Nils Paulsen were all unbeaten by a Falcon. Colin Goody top scored for Exeter with ten points from five second places and ended Graham Coombes hopes of a paid maximum. Jimmy Squibb got two second places in his final two rides and handed Willie Templeton his first defeat in heat eleven.
Former Tiger Chris Blewett failed to score on his return to the White City. Nils Paulsen had a busy second half, winning two reserve heats before qualifying for the trophy final, making four rides in all.
Monk 12; Scott 11; Templeton 8; Mattingly 6; Coombes 6; Paulsen 6; Ovenden 5:
Goody 10; Squibb 6; Cowland 4; Lukehurst 2; Bungay 1; McDermott 1; Blewett 0:
The first ever British League table....and look who is top!!!! sadly it wasn't to last!
A number of the Tigers turned out in Cowdenbeath’s opening fixture two days previously and benefited from the warm up. Willie Templeton captained the Fife Lions and scored ten while Bill McMillan with six and Red Monteith with four also featured on the Fife scorecard. Bluey Scott got a maximum for the visiting Colonial Tigers who tracked an incredible nine riders after Graham Coombes and Bruce Ovenden were delayed en route! They took two rides each and scored five and three respectively.
May 8 Coventry 51 Tigers 26 (British League)
Coventry extracted a fair measure of revenge for their earlier humiliation at the White City. With Nils Paulsen having to return to Norway for his World Championship rounds, Bill McMillan was drafted in as reserve. The meeting got off to a bad start when Willie Templeton was ruled out of heat one after snapping his clutch countershaft while en route to the tapes. Next, Charlie Monk took a heavy fall on the greasy surface in heat three, before Graham Coombes completed a night of woe when his forks snapped in heat five. It was a miracle that he wasn’t injured.
Bluey Scott top scored with nine and was the only Tiger to win a heat while one time Bee, Maury Mattingly, disappointed on his return to his former track. Definitely a night to forget!
Scott 9; Monk 5; Mattingly 4; Templeton 4; Ovenden 2; McMillan 2; Coombes 0:
Cottrell 11; France 10; Boocock 9; Mountford 9; Lightfoot 9; Smith 3;Gay 0:
May12 Golden Helmet First Leg (Poole)
Charlie Monk beat Barry Briggs by two legs to nil. Briggs ESO packed up in the first heat and Charlie Monk sportingly pulled up. In the rerun, Briggs second ESO was down on power and Monk on by quite a distance. At this point, Briggs wanted to concede the first leg but Monk declined this offer. Eventually Briggs turned out on a JAP for the second heat and again trundled home some distance behind. All in all it was a long night for Poole patrons.
May13 Golden Helmet Second Leg (Sheffield)
Barry Briggs had sorted out his bike troubles from the night before and won both heats from the gate without being troubled. A decider was now required and will be staged at West Ham next week.
May 14 Tigers 40 Swindon 38 (British League)
Charlie Monk and Barry Briggs met for the third night in a row. Charlie came out on top in a thrilling heat nine encounter, when the pair rode shoulder to shoulder, before Monk edged ahead to win by half a length, equalling the track record in the process. With Graham Coombes taking third place in this heat, Tigers were now eight points up. Barry Briggs was then sent out as a tactical substitute in heat eleven, while Maury Mattingly, who had failed to finish in his previous two rides, was replaced by reserve Bill McMillan. Unsurprisingly, Swindon took a 5-1 to narrow the gap to four points with two heats remaining. Tigers’ lead was then wiped out in the following race when Briggs and Ashby teamed up to shut out Bluey Scott. A last heat decider!
Swindon tracked Mike Broadbanks and Bob Kilby while Tigers had Charlie Monk and Maury Mattingly programmed. Trevor Redmond had a difficult decision to make. Had Maury Mattingly sorted out his magneto problems or should he again track reserve McMillan? In the end he opted for his skipper and he wasn’t let down, as Mattingly played his part along with Charlie Monk in getting a match winning 4-2. Charlie completed his maximum. Not many riders will manage this against Swindon! This win kept Tigers at the top of the league.
Briggs won the trophy final setting up a new track record of 76.2 seconds. Obviously the track was in good condition. Indeed no fewer than eight races were won in times within a second of the track record.
The meeting highlighted the down side of being Charlie Monk’s partner. Both Graham Coombes and Willie Templeton beat the same Swindon riders but Willie ended up with eight points while Graham, Charlie’s partner scored only three! Good news from Norway! – Nils Paulsen failed to progress in the World Championship and will not be required to return home again this season!
Monk 12; Scott 9; Templeton 8; McMillan 5; Coombes 3; Ovenden 2; Mattingly 1:
Briggs 14; Ashby 9; Broadbanks 8; Kilby 2; Bowers 2; Sampson 2; Keen 1:
May18 Golden Helmet Decider (West Ham)
In the first heat, Briggs’ bike seemed to misfire on the last lap and Charlie Monk grabbed the lead. However Briggs wasn’t finished and in a desperate bid, charged into the last bend on full throttle and narrowly got the verdict on the line. Briggs had wrecked his carburettor and had to bring out his second bike for the next race. Monk made the gate but was passed by Briggs on the second lap and his challenge was over. He gained some revenge by winning the second half trophy final, which saw Briggs and McKinlay dead heating for second place. Quite a race!
Charlie Monk leading Barry Briggs in the first heat at Poole.
May 21 Tigers 46 West Ham 32 (British League)
Tigers welcomed back Nils Paulsen from his spell in Norway. He moved back into the team to partner Bluey Scott with Bruce Ovenden taking over the reserve spot.
West Ham turned up a man short, with Stan Stevens having retired, and borrowed Fife Lions junior Kevin Russell. The Hammers also included Ted Ede, the rider with the shortest name in the league! Ken McKinlay made his first White City appearance in almost ten years, although his first race was an anticlimax when he stalled at the gate. Next time out, he led Charlie Monk for three laps before Charlie dived under him coming out of the last bend. Tigers were now fourteen points in the lead and maintained this differential through out the meeting. Sverre Harrfeldt scored fourteen points suffering his only defeat from Charlie Monk in heat nine. Ken McKinlay scored eight including a heat thirteen defeat of Charlie Monk in heat thirteen, Charlie’s only British League defeat at the White City in May.
Monk 11; Templeton 10; Scott 9; Paulsen 5; Coombes 4; Ovenden 4; Mattingly 3:
West Ham Scorers
Harrfeldt 14; McKinlay 8; Hunter 4; Simmons 3; Ede 1; Leonard 1; Russell 1:
This defeat was one of seven West Ham suffered in May but they were to embark on an incredible run that would see them just pip Wimbledon to win the first ever British League title
May 22 Halifax 39 Tigers 39 (British League)
A crowd of 11,000 enjoyed this close encounter. Halifax were not granted permission to track Austrian Alfred Sitzwohl and Clive Hitch continued to deputise. Although Hitch only scored one point, it was unlikely that Sitzwohl would have done any better judging by his later disappointing performances.
The Boocock / Elliott pairing scored 5-1s in their first two outings and a Charlie Monk fall while attempting to overtake Dave Younghusband in heat seven gave the Dukes a six points lead. However a mid meeting pep talk by boss Trevor Redmond saw the Tigers rally as tactical substitutes were brought in. Charlie Monk came out as a tactical in heat ten and had a first bend tangle with Brian Elliott, which upset the home crowd. Undeterred in the rerun, he partnered Maury Mattingly to a 5-1. In heat twelve, Boocock could only split the same Tigers pairing and the scores were now level going into the last heat. Bluey Scott streaked from the gate and neither Boothroyd nor Younghusband could catch him. Tigers had drawn their first British League meeting and now had two wins and a draw from their first five away meetings.
Halifax scored 39 for the second week in a row and went on to record 39 again in their next two home meetings, although they actually managed to win the third meeting of this streak by 39 –38.
Monk 9; Scott 9; Mattingly 9; Templeton 4; Paulsen 4; Coombes 3; Ovenden 1:
Younghusband 10; Boocock 9; Boothroyd 8; Elliott 7; Kingston 4; Hitch 1; Gavros 0:
Trevor Redmond and Maury Mattingly in mid meeting confab at Halifax
May 28 Tigers 60 Long Eaton 18 (British League)
Bottom of the table Long Eaton came to Glasgow with only three wins in thirteen meetings, and one of these was at Old Meadowbank! Bill McMillan, who had been showing some fine form, had been pressing for an extended run, and got his chance after Maury Mattingly asked for time off to attend to his business. Tigers won the most one sided British League meeting ever staged at the White City. One time Tigers asset Ray Cresp joined up with Ken Adams to shut out Nils Paulsen in heat six to stop a run of consecutive 5-1s. Kid Bodie outpaced Bill McMillan two heats later and a Nils Paulsen engine failure in a later heat gifted the Archers a drawn heat Apart from that, it was one-way traffic with a string of 5-1s. Willie Templeton, Bluey Scott and Charlie Monk all recorded full maximums and Bruce Ovenden and Graham Coombes notched their first ever paid maximums, each scoring four bonus points in the process. Red Monteith rode at reserve for the Archers and had a sore time, falling in both his rides.
The second half brought some much needed excitement with Charlie Monk beating George Hunter 2-1 in the Scottish Match Race Championship.
Monk 12; Scott 12; Templeton 12; Coombes 8; Ovenden 8; Paulsen 5; McMillan 3:
Long Eaton Scorers
Bodie 7; Cresp 4; Adams 3; Mills 2; Storer 2; Minall 0; Monteith 0:
With May drawing to a close, Tigers were second in the British League table, just one point behind Hackney but having two meetings in hand. Charlie Monk had proved to be the sensation of the season so far and all the Tigers had ridden beyond expectations. Their averages based on the eight home and five away meetings to date were:
Charlie Monk 10.34
Bluey Scott 9.63
Willie Templeton 8.39
Maury Mattingly 7.37
Graham Coombes 6.46
Nils Paulsen 5.76
Bill McMillan 5.66
Bruce Ovenden 5.47
In modern parlance, their Green Sheet total would be 53.42 for their declared 1-7. Incredibly the 1965 team wasn’t really any stronger on paper than the team, which had finished bottom of the Provincial League. Bluey Scott had an almost identical average to Trevor Redmond and Willie Templeton, who took Chris Julians’ pace at number two, actually had a lower Provincial League average than Chris. Nils Paulsen was effectively Bill McMillan’s replacement and, as can be seen above, had an only marginally higher average at this point in the season.
There was a proposal from Newcastle and Sheffield that a Northern Area League competition should be run using open dates in the latter half of the season. Halifax did not have enough dates but proposed that their team could ride at Middlesbrough. Neither Glasgow nor Edinburgh were willing to commit to such a competition at this time but agreed to see how they were placed later in the summer. As it turned out all the northern tracks needed all their open dates to fulfil their British League fixtures as the rainy season began to bite.