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April 1   Scottish Open Championship (Edinburgh)

Probably the biggest upset Scottish speedway has ever known! Bill Landels won the 1966 Scottish Open title on April fool’s Day 1967! While there have been stronger fields, the “usual suspects” were all there – defending champion Arne Pander, George Hunter, Charlie Monk, Ivan Mauger, Bernie Persson and Doug Templeton, all of whom had graced the rostrum in previous years. Throw in West Ham’s World number two, Sverre Harrfeldt and Norman Hunter and you still have a field of some note. Burly Bill blew them all away! He outgated Monk in one heat and took Mauger from the back in another. There was simply no stopping him tonight as he roared to a fifteen point score.

First: Bill Landels; Second (after a run off): Charlie Monk; Third : Ivan Mauger;

 

 

April 7   Tigers   42   Coventry   35  (British League)

Some improvement on the mechanical front although Maury Mattingly is delayed when flying up from London and has to miss his first ride while his replacement engine is fitted into his bike. He scores well in his three other rides but his engine again goes in a second half ride! He is distraught at the costs he has incurred in the first two weeks and announces that he can’t afford to continue and has retired

Nigel Boocock is below par and it is left to Ron Mountford to spearhead the Bees attack. This he does in some style, scoring a fifteen point maximum, beating Charlie Monk twice in the process, and, for good measure, a further time in the second hal trophy final

Tigers build up a large lead throughout the meeting and are thirteen points up after heat eleven. An Alf Wells engine failure and a Charlie Monk fall when trying to pass Ron Mountford mean Coventry take nine points from the last two heats to make the scoreline far closer than deserved.

Scandinavians, Jonny Faafeng and Nils Ringstrom, both have excellent nights. Faafeng has two heat wins in his ten point haul, while Ringstrom should have had more than his paid seven total. He was following partner Monk home for a 5-1 when Boocock tried to dive under him, knocking him off. The Coventry rider was excluded for boring but Ringstrom was not even awarded third place! A more experienced team manager than Danny Taylor would surely have disputed this

Tigers Scorers

Faafeng 10, Monk 8, W Templeton 7, Mattingly 6, Ringstrom 5, Wells 3, B McMillan 3:

Coventry Scorers

Mountford 15, Boocock 7, Hitch 7, France 3, Owen 2, Harrison 1, Cottrell 0:

 

 

 

April 8   Belle Vue   46   Tigers    32 (British League)

With Maury Mattingly unavailable, apparently retired, Tigers take Jim McMillan to Hyde Road to make up their side. However Alf Wells, who had bike problems the previous evening, has been unable to get spares in Edinburgh and decides against making the journey. Ironically the parts may well have been available at the Belle Vue workshops. Danny Taylor is not the “hands on” manager that Trevor Redmond was. Redmond would, no doubt, have been aware of Wells’ problems, and may even have suggesting trying in Manchester. Tigers borrow Taffy Owen, a Belle Vue junior, and he scores six, making him our joint second top scorer with Jonny Faafeng! Charlie Monk blazes a lone trail for Tigers and ends the maximum hopes of all but Soren Sjosten, although he takes car of him in the second half final.

Tigers Scorers

Monk 14, Owen 6, Faafeng 6, Ringstrom 3, W Templeton 1, B McMillan 1, J McMillan 0:

Belle Vue Scorers

Sjosten 12, Maidment 10, Nevitt 7, Roper 7, Thompson 4, Hardy 4, Levai 3:

 

 

 

 

April 14   Tigers   42   Exeter   34  (British League)

Danny Taylor, again, has a long phone call with Maury Mattingly, and persuades the skipper to give it one more go. A shrew move wit our impending visit to Old Meadowbank, a track where Mattingly often flies.

Bike problems continue to haunt the Tigers! Alf Wells seizes his bike in his first heat and is out for the night. Bill McMillan pulls up no less than three times and Nils Ringstrom also has an engine failure. Exeter gain two 5-0 heat advantages when they are returned unopposed! Jimmy Squibb is twice a beneficiary and is paid for six points without actually finishing ahead of a Tiger! Jonny Faafeng, who is riding with a badly bruised leg, takes another heavy fall but still scores well. Monk scores his second home maximum of the season.

Tigers Scorers

Monk 12, W Templeton 9, Mattingly 8, Ringstrom 6, Faafeng 5, B McMillan 2, Wells 0:

Exeter Scorers

Sweetman 8, Squibb 7, Street 5,Geran 4, Goody 4, Gerhardsson 4, Blewett 2:

 

 

 

April 15   Edinburgh   38   Tigers   40  (British League)

Tigers fans travel through to Old Meadowbank with some trepidation. Monarchs boast the current Scottish Open champion, the track record holder and a rider who scored double figures in the Scottish Open on his debut – and that is just their second strings – Landels, Eide and Berg respectively! They back up the heat leader trio of Hunter, Templeton and Persson, with maverick Harkins at reserve. However our last league visit to the venue is to prove to be our finest hour!

Maury Mattingly proves he is very much in the mood in the opening heat. He doesn’t make the gate but charges under Landels and Hunter to join partner Willie Templeton for a 5-1, although our lead is cancelled out in the next heat when Jonny Faafeng falls while leading. Heat three is shared but then the tigers cut loose! Three 4-2 are followed by a 5-1 when Charlie Monk and Nils Ringstrom head the lethargic Hunter and Landels pairing with the latter looking a shadow of the Scottish Open champion from a fortnight previously. Tigers now lead by ten points and for Edinburgh its tactical substitute time.

Doug Templeton ends Maury Mattingly’s maximum bid as two 4-2s reduce the deficit to six. Monk and Ringstrom stop the rot by taking a 3-3 when following home Doug Templeton in heat ten. This is Monk’s only defeat in the meeting. The next heat sees Hunter and tactical sub Persson take a 5-1 over Wells and Faafeng, the latter suffering from the fall in his first ride. Tigers’ lead is cut to two but Monk gains revenge over Doug Templeton in heat twelve while brother Willie outpaces Berg for third. Going into the final race, the score is Edinburgh 34 Tigers 38. Monarchs track Hunter and Persson while Glasgow have Wells and Ringstrom. While none are top scorers tonight, Edinburgh fans fancy their chances of a 5-1 to pull off a frankly undeserved draw! But it doesn’t happen! Ringstrom makes the gate but Hunter passes him coming out of the second bend. Persson pressurises Ringstrom at every bend but Nils wins the “battle of the Swedes” and Tigers win the meeting.

Tigers dominance continues in the second half, with Mattingly winning the trophy final from Monk and Ringstrom with Hunter falling and damaging his wrist.

Tigers Scorers

Monk 11, Mattingly 10, Wells 5, W Templeton 5, Ringstrom 5, B McMillan 3, Faafeng 1:

Edinburgh Scorers

D Templeton 13, Persson 8, Hunter 8, Eide 5, Harkins 3, Berg 1, Landels 0:

 

 

Maury Mattingly about to charge past Hunter and Landels in Heat 1

 

 

April 21   Tigers   41   Edinburgh   37  (British League)

Tigers fans are cock a hoop after the previous weeks win in Edinburgh but Monarchs,

operating Rider Replacement for the injured Hunter, open with a 5-1. However Monk and Faafeng restore parity in heat three and two heats later take a 4-2 over Doug Templeton to give tigers the lead for the first time. Then things go wrong, with Edinburgh taking two successive 5-1s to lead by eight points. Ringstrom and McMillan get a big cheer as they take a 5-1 over Harkins and Berg but that is nothing to the ovation that Faafeng gets in the next race when he passes Eide and Landels on the last lap to join partner Monk, giving Tigers a two point lead. Then controversy! Edinburgh are sitting on a 4-2, when Landels, never the smoothest of stylists, gets into trouble on the third bend. He falls and Ringstrom lays his bike down. However Landels gets his bike restarted and remounts for third place. Aside from the fact he should have been excluded as the primary cause, it also seems obvious he gets outside assistance from track staff. Referee Dobie is unimpressed by these arguments but the scores are now tied. A hitherto unimpressive Willie Templeton beats brother Doug, with Maury Mattingly taking third. Glasgow have a two point lead which is maintained in the penultimate race as Wells and Faafeng shut out Eide. Monk completes his maximum in the last race beating Landels, while Willie Templeton again bests his brother for third place.

A narrow squeak, with Faafeng’s efforts swinging the tide Tigers way.

Tigers Scorers

Monk 12, Faafeng 6, Wells 6, W Templeton 5, Mattingly 4, Ringstrom 4, B McMillan 4:

 Edinburgh Scorers

Persson 13, D Templeton 9, Eide 8, Landels 6, Berg 1, Harkins 0:

 

 

April 22   Halifax   P   Tigers    P  (British League)

Meeting postponed. To be restaged in a weeks time

 

 

 

April 28   Tigers   39   Poole   39  (British League)

After two trouble free meetings Maury Mattingly again has bike trouble, with his engine seizing in his first race, putting him out for the night.

The lead changes hands in the early heats but a Monk/ Ringstrom 4-2 over Nordin put Tigers six up after heat five, but two 5-1s in the next three races see the scores tied at 24-24. The following two races are split but when Nordin and the impressive Norman Strachan take a 5-1 over Templeton and McMillan, things are looking bleak for the Tigers. Wells and Ringstrom line up against Pirates high scoring Genz and Mudge for heat twelve. However the Tigers pair make the gate, and, although Mudge is tailed off, Genz is in hot pursuit. Wells and Ringstrom have little experience of team riding together – and it shows! Both look more comfortable on a wide line, leaving Genz the chance to dive in on the line at each bend. Eventually he gets under Ringstrom but despite a couple of hairy moments Wells wide line take him home first. This is Wells first home heat win of the season, and it couldn’t have come at a more opportune time! He has Charlie Monk to thankas Charlie had taken his engine away to overhaul it prior to the meeting.

 Tigers are now two points down going into the last heat. Monk completes his fourth home maximum in five meetings by beating Nordin, while a Pete Smith fall means Willie Templeton is unchallenged for the vital third place. A draw, and probably the right result.

Monk again beats Nordin in the second half and is now top of the British League averages. Also in the second half, Brian Whaley is still coming to terms with the White City track and is not really making much impact against fellow juniors.

Tigers Scorers

Monk 12, Wells 7, B McMillan 7, Faafeng 5, W Templeton 4, Ringstrom 4, Mattingly 0:

Poole Scorers

Genz 10, Nordin 9, Strachan 7, Mudge 6, Smith 4, Cribb 3, Penniket 0:

 

April 29   Halifax   45   Tigers   33  (British League)

Any chance Tigers have disappears as early as heat two when Alf Wells bike fails (again!!!) and he is out for the night. The “M/M” dynamic duo of Monk and Mattingly take the fight to the Dukes but, while Willie Templeton weighs in with four paid seven, there is insufficient support to seriously challenge Halifax. Younghusband and Boothroyd both get maxes, while Kingston is only defeated by a bike failure.

Tigers Scorers

Mattingly 11, Monk 11, W Templeton 4, J McMillan 3, B McMillan 2, Faafeng 2, Wells 0:

Halifax Scorers

Boothroyd 12, Younghusband 12, E Boocock 7, Kingston 7, Robinson 4, Kentwell 2, Gavros 1:

 

 Despite his many troubles, Maury Mattingly, has had a good start to the season and is second in the Tigers averages behind Charlie Monk. His away average to the end of April is a staggering 9.42!