August 3 Wimbledon 43 Tigers 33 (British League)
A fair amount of controversy over who should have ridden for us tonight! The program shows new signing Russ Dent is in the team but Alf Wells name isn’t on the team sheet. However Dent doesn’t ride and Wells isn’t at Plough Lane either, although he seems to have been expected. Exactly why this came about was never clear. Perhaps Dent had other commitments, made prior to signing for Tigers and then Danny Taylor insisted Wells go to Wimbledon, with Wells refusing, insisting he was injured. Who knows, but perhaps Johnnie Hoskins, acting as team manager in Taylor’s absence, misunderstood what had been decided. The upshot is that Wells is reported for not appearing!
The meeting gets under way with tigers borrowing Wimbledon junior Gary Middleton, and the Tigers turning out in a miss mash of team colours, which confuse the announcer and a goodly portion of the crowd. Bo Josefsson takes to the Plough Lane circuit immediately and scores eleven, only losing to Olle Nygren in his first race. Charlie Monk is only marginally less impressive with ten points. With the scores close throughout the meeting, there is no real opportunity to give either rider an extra ride. Most of the Tigers points come from races against either Burt or Soderberg, who turns out for the Dons for the last time.
The second half features a seven heat handicap challenge between the Dons and the Tigers, with the heat leaders going off the twenty yard mark. Wimbledon win 22-20 but Charlie Monk takes a bad fall when colliding with Ringstrom and pulls out of his second race.
Josefsson 11, Monk 10, Ringstrom 4, Whaley 3, Middleton 3, J McMillan 2, W Templeton 0:
Hedge 10, Nygren 10, Luckhurst 8, Tebby 6, Cowland 5, Soderberg 4, Burt 0:
August 4 Tigers 35 Swindon 43 (British League)
Alf Wells arrives at the White City, ready to race, but Danny Taylor, irate at his absence from Wimbledon the previous night, announces he is suspended from the meeting as a disciplinary meeting. It is one thing ruling with a rod of iron but it is another thing to hit your own foot with it!
Nils Ringstrom, who had been dropped to the second half following some poor performances, is drafted in to replace him. He is riding on a bike, badly damaged at Wimbledon the previous night. It proves almost unrideable, he fails to score in two outings. This just adds weight to the criticism of Taylor’s decision to drop Wells.
Charlie Monk is still badly shaken from his Wimbledon crash but turns in an amazing performance beating Barry Briggs from the back in the process. He also takes an extra ride in a vain bid to turn the tide Tigers way and records a five ride maximum. However he is completely exhausted and the doctor refuses to allow him to ride in the Silver Sash against holder Barry Briggs or in the second half. Dave Lanning later makes some ill informed and uncharitable comments in the Speedway Star about this. Bo Josefsson, and to a lesser extent Willie Templeton, are the only Tigers to offer any resistance, with Russ Dent having a decidedly poor home debut, managing just one point from four starts.
According to the program, this is likely to be Bo Josefsson’s last meeting for Tigers during August due to his extensive Swedish league commitments.
Monk 15, Josefsson 9, W Templeton 8, J McMillan 2, Dent 1,Ringstrom 0, Whaley 0:
Briggs 11, Ashby 10, Kilby 7, Shuter 5,Broadbanks 4, Keen 4, Munday 2:
August 11 Tigers P Edinburgh P (Scottish Cup)
Danny Taylor understands how important the Scottish Cup is to supporters and flies Bo Josefsson and Nils Ringstrom back from Sweden for the cup meetings. Sadly this enterprise goes unrewarded with the meeting falling victim to the weather.
August 12 Edinburgh 56 Tigers 39 (Scottish Cup)
A meeting of two halves! Helped by the Monarchs suffering some falls and engine failures, Tigers are one point up at the interval after heat ten. However Monarchs get their act together in the remaining six races to build up a seventeen point lead by the end of the meeting.
Charlie Monk has a fairly torrid night. After starring in a Tigers 5-1 over Hunter and Berg, he is knocked off in the first running of heat seven and looks decidedly below par thereafter. The last heat just rounds off his night! Leading Hunter and Doug Templeton, he pulls onto the centre green, explaining that the green light is still on, and, somewhat inexplicably, assumed that the race was to be stopped. It was that kind of night!
The wisdom of pairing Monk and Josefsson together was questioned, but, really, it is doubtful that it made any difference. Tigers now face an uphill struggle in he second leg, rescheduled in four weeks time
Josefsson 9, W Templeton 8, Monk 7, Wells 5, Ringstrom 4, Dent 4, J McMillan 2:
Persson 11, Eide 11, Hunter 9, Berg 8, Harkins 8, D Templeton 5, Landels 4:
August 16 Long Eaton 38 Tigers 40 (British League)
Quite a night at Station Road! Archers are without Michanek,(riding in Sweden) Lightfoot (either retired or withholding his services, depending on your point of view!) and White (injured). They get Simmons as a guest and promote juniors Leabitter and Champion, the latter having turned out for Tigers last year at long Eaton. Tigers are missing Josefsson, which probably offsets one of the Archers missing heat leaders. Both Monk and Ringstrom have previously been Archers and should know their way around the pacy circuit. Monk loses out to maximum man Wilson and guest Simmons but wins his other two races comfortably. Ringstrom is most disappointing and is substituted after two rides. Templeton and Dent give solid performances, while youngsters McMillan and Whaley are our match winners, both scoring six points. The former rides at number one for the first time in his career and responds accordingly, featuring in a heat twelve 5-1 with Monk over Bentzen and Champion. However it is the final that that brings all the drama. With Tigers four points up, the homesters track Wilson and Simmons, both of whom are unbeaten. Wells and Whaley are the Tigers representatives and a home 5-1 seems on the cards.
Wells suffers bike trouble, as does Simmons who manages to limp home for a consolation point. Whaley’s second place wins us the match! Well done Brian!
Monk 10, W Templeton 7, Dent 7, Whaley 6, J McMillan 6, Wells 4, Ringstrom 0:
Long Eaton Scorers
Wilson 12, Simmons 10, Storer 6, Boulger 5, Bentzen 3,Champion 2, Leadbitter 0:
August 18 Tigers 40 Wimbledon 38 (British League)
Tigers edge out the Dons in a meeting that is closely contested throughout. Wimbledon take a 5-1 and a four point lead after a very controversial heat ten when Alf Wells misses the gate and Jim McMillan can make no impression on the Hedge/ Middleton pairing. However Wells is having none of it and when his phone protest falls on deaf ears, he marches along the home straight, through the grandstand and into the referees box. He is joined by team manager McFarlane and a lengthy and animated discussion takes place – again to no positive effect, although it does fire the crowd up, and also the Templeton/ Dent pairing who go out in the next race and score a 5-1 of their own over Luckhurst, the least effective Wimbledon heat leader. There is still steam coming off Wells as he splits the strong Nygren/ Hedge pairing setting up a last heat decider. Charlie Monk again compiles a maximum, but more importantly Willie Templeton has little trouble following him home and Tigers have inched home by two points. Jim McMillan, who has been out of form of late, seems to have climbed out of his sticky patch and includes two heat wins in his score of seven.
Ringstrom has another pointless evening and there is now a arge question markover his future
Monk 12, W Templeton 9, J McMillan 7, Wells 6, Dent 6, Ringstrom 0, Whaley 0:
Hedge 11, Nygren 8, Middleton 7, Tebby 5, Luckhurst 4, Cowland 2, Dugard 1
August 19 Coventry 56 Tigers 22 (British League)
This meeting is the second part of a double header. Coventry warmup with a 46-32 win over Exeter before taking on the Tigers. Bees show no signs of fatigue and hammer tigers relentlessly. Even Charlie Monk can’t manage a heat win! Team manager McFarlane asks Monk to take an extra ride and is told “no”. After the meeting Monk explains to him that the team manager should be telling the riders not asking them! The pair go on to have an excellent relationship, although there will still be times when Monk refuses an extra outing. Wells and Jim McMillan are the only other Tigers to trouble any of the Bees in yet another poor night in the Midlands.
Monk 8, Wells 5, W Templeton 4, J McMillan 3, Dent 1, Whaley 1; Ringstrom 0:
Mountford 13, Boocock 12, Owen 11, Cottrell 8,Hitch 4, Hill 3, Harrison 0:
August 25 Tigers 43 Halifax 35 (British League)
Maury Mattingly is signed off by his doctor and returns to the side in place of the absent Ringstrom, although it has to be said that the Swede surely wouldn’t have been selected even if he had been available. Monk and track specialist and best buddy Eric Boocock have spoiled each others maximums by heat five. Mattingly takes a couple of races to get back into the groove but a solid performance all round by the
Tigers sees them ten points up after heat nine. Kentwell and Kingston are particularly disappointing for the Dukes and Eric Boocock only gets any real support from the other Eric – Boothroyd.
Monk 11, Wells 7, Dent 7, W Templeton 6, J McMillan 6, Mattingly 3, Whaley 3:
E Boocock 14, Boothroyd 8, Younghusband 5, Gavros 4, Jamieson 4, Kentwell 0, Kingston 0:
Charlie Monk is a reserve at the British Final and may have ridden in the meeting had Rick France been declared unfit. However the Coventry rider strapped up his injured shoulder and not only rode but actually qualified for the World Final to be held at Wembley next month.