July 5 Poole 48 Tigers 30 (British League)
Procol Harums number one hit “A Whiter Shade of Pale” blares out over the tannoy but it is Tigers pale Swede Bo Josefsson who ensures that “the crowd cries out for more” with a truly memorable performance. I always think of Bo’s performance at Poole any time I hear this record. Bo starts off with a fine win over Nordin and Strachan in heat one and continues in near invincible vein, taking a tactical substitute ride in heat eight before finishing second to Geoff Mudge in heat nine – yes that’s five rides in the first nine races and three in four heats! Charlie Monk puts in a similar show, losing only to Nordin. However he doesn’t take/get a tactical ride despite the Tigers trailling by more than the mandatory six points from heat five onwards. No other Tiger actually finishes ahead of a Pirate so we were very much a two an band – but a very good one at that! Jim McMillan seems to have a personal battle with the third bend, falling there in three of his four rides.
Nordin makes the gate in the Silver Sash to head home Josefsson.
Josefsson 14, Monk 11, W Templeton 3, Wells 2, J McMillan 0, Ringstrom 0, Whaley 0:
Nordin 10, Mudge 10, Strachan 7, Genz 7, Smith 5, Penniket 5, Cribb 4:
July 6 Oxford 42 Tigers 36 (British League)
The meeting goes to a last heat decider where Trigg and Reeves take the expected 5-1 over Willie Templeton and Jim McMillan. However there is no real drama as both our Swedes are riding on the banned Barum tyres and their scores wouldhave been deleted had Oxford made a protest. Presumably, this applied at Poole too.
Monk gets a maximum and is untroubled all night. Oxford have a number of bike failures, notably in heat eight when Nils Ringstrom and Brian Whaley get a 5-0. Alf Wells and Bo Josefsson prove to be a stuffy pairing and help to keep the scores tight, while Willie Templeton and Nils Ringstrom’s totals are a bit more fortuitous.
Monk 12, Josefsson 6, Wells 5, W Templeton 5, Ringstrom 4, J McMillan 2, Whaley 2:
Reeves 10, Trigg 10, McAuliffe 6, Goody 5, Lukehurst 5, Timmo 3, McDermott2:
July 7 Tigers 43 Newport 34 (British League)
Somewhat strangely Maury Mattingly makes his return to the Tigers side tonight, rather than two nights earlier at Poole, which is almost “just down the road” from his Southampton home! Be that as it may, Mattingly eases himself back with three points on a night when the final score flatters the visitors. However following the meeting, Mattingly tells the Speedway star journalist that he may quit speedway. Amongst the things getting him down is the travelling!! Perhaps Danny Taylor was right when he was prepared to release him at the start of the season to save him commuting from the south coast each week! For once, Charlie Monk doesn’t score his customary maximum, when Torbjorn Harrysson leads him home in his first outing in the only race to be completed below the eighty seconds barrier. With rain continuing to fall, the last two heats take more than eighty six seconds! Jimmy Gooch shows his liking for the White City track scoring ten from five starts – at least he is prepared to take an extra ride unlike Harrysson. Nils Ringstrom is unbeaten is his two rides from the reserve berth. Hopefully our Swedes have resolved their “tiresome” problems!
Monk 11, W Templeton 10, Josefsson 7, Ringstrom 5, Wells 4, J McMillan 3, Mattingly 3:
Harrysson 12, Gooch 10, Francis 6, Golden 5, Bishop 1, Erskine 0, Paynter 0:
July 12 Tigers 52 Hackney 26 (British League)
Bengt Jansson returns to the White City and, unlike his debut for Edinburgh, manages to get past the first bend. Indeed he manages quite a lot more too, topscoring for Hackney with eleven from five rides. Charlie Monk loses out on his maximum when he has a rare engine problem in heat nine, a race that sees Maury Mattingly, in better form and better spirits tonight head home British Finalist, Colin Pratt. Nils Ringstrom, restored to the team with Jim McMillan riding at number seven, has a disappointing night.
W Templeton 12, Monk 9, Wells 9, Mattingly 7, Josefsson 5, J McMillan 4, Ringstrom 2:
Jansson 11, Pratt 5, McKee 4, Davies 3, McGillivray 2, Brown 2:
July 14 Wolverhampton 58 Tigers 20 (British League)
Another Monmore Green hammering but local correspondent Peter Morrish is full of praise for the Tigers efforts, saying that they lost out in a number of close finishes and deserved a lot more points. Wells and McMillan are mentioned “in dispatches”. Vandenberg, Holmquist and Jarman are all unbeaten in what must be a great night for Wolves fans – super racing and a large home win!!
Wells 7, Monk 6, W Templeton 3, Mattingly 2, Josefsson 2, J McMillan 1, Ringstrom 0:
Vandenberg 12, Airey 10, Jarman 10, Holmquist, Bond 7, Hemus 6, Maxted 4:
July 21 Newport 44 Tigers 34 (British League)
Maury Mattingly has suffered all sorts of mechanical failures al season, but this time it is his car as he breaks down in Newport’s own version of the Bermuda Triangle! – certainly not the first time it has happened to a visiting rider. Tigers borrow junior roger White to make up the numbers. Charlie Monk scores his second away maximum in July, avenging his White City defeat by Harrysson in the process. Alf Wells and Willie Templeton both win a heat and Jim Mcmillan gives a typically gritty performance. Neither Ringstrom nor Josefsson enjoy their first, and indeed only, visit to Somerset Park – even more dilapidated than the Ayr version!
Monk 12, Wells 7, W Templeton 7, J McMillan 4, Josefsson 3, Ringstrom 1, White 0:
Harrysson 11, Gooch 9, Francis 9, Golden 8, Bishop 5, Erskine 2, Hughes 0:
An engine failure costs Charlie Monk dearly in the British semi final and he finishes with eight points which means he is first reserve at the British final at West Ham next month
July 28 Northern Riders Championship Qualifying round)
Ove Fundin finally makes his much awaited Scottish debut but is somewhat flustered when arriving late, and not greatly appreciative of a flock of autograph hunters whom he tells to go away..or something similar! Welcome to Scotland Ove! Things don’t really improve for him once he gets on to the track. Sure, he wins a couple of races to get the points that he needs to qualify for the final at Sheffield but it is a really lack lustre performance, being headed by Nils Ringstrom and Brian Whaley in one race. Still, he would go on to win the World Championship in September at Wembley!
The evening in best remembered for Nils Ringstrom’s performance, eleven points from seven rides, taken as a reserve replacement. In his first race, he got knocked off by Bill Landels, who rarely looked in total control at the White City and this obviously upset him. In fact he tried to kick Landels when he passed on the next lap but fortunately was restrained by track rakers. With his dander very much up, Ringstrom went on to have a high scoring night, finishing behind Charlie Monk (another maximum), Bernie Persson and Reidar Eide. George Hunter had another poor White City showing and the Belle Vue trio of Roper, Maidment and Levai, were considerably less impressive than on their earlier showing during the Aces win in May. Alf Wells falls and damages his ankle and pulls out of his last two rides – more about this later.
Tonights program is now one shilling (five new pence) going up from nine pence due to the costs of flying Joseffson, Ringstrom and Mattingly to ride for us. Ironically, this trio will turn out rather infrequently in the coming weeks!
Top scorers : Monk 15; Persson 13; Eide 12; Ringstrom 11; Josefsson 10, W Templeton 10:
Tigers are now more than halfway through their season and have a league rating of minus two, having lost one more home meeting than their away wins. Monk is top of the British League averages, with a further nine riders all boasting ten plus figures. Tigers have generally sorted out the machine problems that blighted their early season but Mattingly’s future seems in some doubt, having been advised by his doctor to take a prolonged rest due to the strain of his business and speedway commitments. Ringstrom, too, has a dubious future with some poor performances and is proving a poor replacement for Bluey Scott. Jim McMillan has hit a barren spell and has dropped down to reserve while brother Bill’s comeback is not as close as was once hoped. Throw in the program increase and you can see that not everything was rosy in the Tigers garden. The only bright spot has been the signing of Bo Josefsson who is settling down to British speedway and is vying for the second heat leader slot. However he is likely to miss a lot of the August fixtures due to Swedish league commitments, but Danny Taylor has managed to sign Russ Dent who has fallen out with Mike Parker at Newcastle.