May 3 Tigers P Wimbledon P (British League) – rained off
Tigers were due to be without Josefsson and Jansson who were fulfilling Swedish commitments – again! - so presumably we weren’t too upset this meeting was rained off.
May 4 Halifax P Tigers P (British League) – rained off
Right on half past seven the rain came and making it our second meeting in twenty four hours to be postponed. Lars Jansson arrives in time with the good? news that Bo Josefsson has qualified in the World Championship rounds – another Swedish awayday looms.
May 7 Leicester 43 Tigers 35 (British League)
With Josefsson still in Sweden, Tigers use rider replacement but to no great effect – surely our missing Swede would have managed more than three points. Before a large crowd at the recently reopened Blackbird Road, Tigers put up a good display but ultimately can make little impact on Wilson and Michanek, Lions top two, although Lars Jansson beats the latter in heat twelve. Dent has his best away score of the season and certainly enjoys his first visit to Russ and certainly enjoys his first visit to Leicester.
J McMillan 9, Dent 8, Berg 7, Jansson 6, W Templeton 5, B McMillan 0:
Wilson 12, Michanek 11, Storer 6, Hart 5, Major 4 Boulger 3, White 2:
May 10 Tigers 49 Oxford 29 (British League)
It really looked as if Tigers were going to be rained off for the second Friday in a row but after pumping water off the track all afternoon, sawdust was liberally applied at six o’clock and thanks to a highly co-operative visiting team the meeting went ahead. Russ Dent revelled in the wet conditions and scored his first paid maximum for the Tigers. He was joined in the unbeaten stakes by Bo Josefsson ,while Ronnie Genz handed Jim McMillan and Lars Jansson their only defeats of the night.
Both teams were missing foreigners with Oyvind Berg and Arne Pander’s absences cancelling each other out, unusually this benefited the visiting team with Pete Seaton outscoring Brian Whaley.
Dent 11, J McMillan 11, Josefsson 10, Jansson 10, B McMillan 4, W Templeton 2, Whaley 1:
Genz 8, Goody 7, Reeves 6, Seaton 4, Timmo 2, McAuliffe 2, Bishop 0:
May 16 Sheffield 51 Tigers 27 (British League)
Any chance Glasgow had in this “battle of the Tigers” disappears when Oyvind Berg crashes in his first ride and is out for the night. Sheffield are using rider replacement for Bengt Larsson but end up giving junior Dave Baugh two rides, both of which are pointless. Jim McMillan is Glasgow’s sole race winner when he heads Paulson and Maxted in heat ten. Dent and Jansson both manage a couple of second places. Charlie Monk though is the only Sheffield rider to go unbeaten, although Jim McMilan beats him in a second half heat.
J McMillan 8, Dent 6, Jansson 4, W Templeton 4, Josefsson 3, B McMillan 2, Berg 0:
Monk 15, Paulson 12, Maxted 11, Haley 10, Dews 3, Bales 0, Baugh 0:
May 17 Tigers 38 Coatbridge 40 (British League)
This meeting is remembered to this day for the spectacular heat ten crash involving George Hunter and Bo Josefsson, but more of than shortly.
Coatbridge, using rider replacement for the absent Persson, get off to a great start. Hunter and Harkins take an opening heat 5-1 over Jim McMillan and Willie Templeton. Eide and Doug Templeton feature in two 4-2s so that tigers are six points down after heat five. Jim McMillan is brought in as tactical sub in the next race but Eide and Harkins again take a 4-2 for Monarchs, who now lead by eight points. Then Tigers finally stir into life. The hitherto pointless Jansson heads Doug Templeton, with partner bill McMillan third to reduce the gap to six points. Berg and Dent then take a 5-1 after Harkins has bike problems. Tigers are just two points behind and the meeting now seems to be swinging their way.
Heat ten sees Josefsson leading Hunter with Jansson third. Going into the last bend, Hunter tries a big blast around the outside but overdoes it. His backwheel clips the kickboards coming out the fourth bend and he is propelled diagonally across the track. He hits Josefsson’s rear wheel at an acute angle and both him and his bike are cartwheeled through the air. Hunter strikes the starting gate pole near the top, causing it to snap at its base. There is a real concern over Hunter’s well being, however thankfully the fears are unfounded. Josefsson doesn’t escape unscathed, having been thrown over his handlebars and damaging his shoulder. Jansson and replacement Bill McMillantakea 5-1 in the rerun to put Tigers two points ahead and surely in the driving seat.
However the starting gate is beyond repair and the remaining races must be started using an elastic tape. This proves pivotal, with Eide, charitably described as an “enterprising” starter in these circumstances, getting two blatant “rollers” in heats eleven and thirteen. A bitterly upset Jim McMillan remonstrates with starter Larry Lazarus after Eide after the crucial heat thirteen where Eide secures the win for Coatbridge. Interestingly promoter Whaley blames the defeat on Tigers bike failures which “should not have occurred”
It would be true to say that Bo Josefsson was never really the same after this crash, and Hunter, too, was a pale shadow o himself for the remainder of the season.
Berg 10, J McMillan 9, Jansson 6, B McMillan 6, Dent 3, W Templeton 2, Josefsson 2:
Eide 15, Harkins 9, D Templeton 6, Hunter 5, Collins 3, Hughson 2:
May 24 Tigers 31 West Ham 47 (British League)
The Hammers have an excellent record against Tigers and in the current circumstances, with Josefsson out injured, are hot favourites for tonight – and so it proves. Hammers heatleaders McKinlay, Harrfeldt and Hunter run riot and reserve Leonard also has a big pay night.
The meeting starts brightly enough with Jim McMillan beating Harrfeldt in the opening race but his partner Jansson falls and never recovers his poise thereafter. Berg has an unfortunate night with both a fall and an engine failure against his score chart.
Following the meeting promoter Whaley seeks and is granted permission to sign a new heat leader. With the Scandanavian market “emptied of quality riders”, his words!, he asks Ken McKinlay to talent scout on our behalf in Europe. Watch this space but don’t hold your breath!
J McMillan 11, Berg 6, Dent 5, W Templeton 5, Jansson 3, B McMillan 1:
West Ham Scorers
Hunter 12, Harrfeldt 11, McKinlay 11, Leonard 9, Clarke 3, Barclay 1, Stevens 0:
May 31 Glasgow World Championship Qualifying Round
Once again Glasgow is not blessed with a star studded World Championship round
Only Kilby and Genz are recognised heat leaders, and Genz is a “no show”! Kilby is unbeaten, while Bert Harkins continues his recent good form around the White City with a fine fourteen points. Jim McMillan is beaten by both these riders but takes third place with thirteen.
Dent and Shuter are the “best of the rest”, each scoring eleven.
Les Whaley reports that on Ken McKinlay’s recommendation, he contacted Jan Holub and Lubos Tomicek but that it would be impossible to conclude contracts with either rider before the end of the season.
Kilby 15, Harkins 14, J McMillan 13:
Brian Whaley sets up a Division Two record by becoming the first rider to record an away maximum when scoring fifteen from five rides for Berwick at Middlesborough.