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                           September 6    Tigers   41   Newcastle   37  (British League)

Oyvind Berg continues his great form and goes through the card unbeaten, including wrapping up the second half trophy. In contrast Jim McMillan is showing signs of tiredness following a lengthy season, but he is perked up by the news that he has been selected to go to Australia with the British Lions. Ivan Mauger is missing for the perfectly valid reason that he is away winning the World title in
Sweden. No rider replacement is allowed as Josefsson, remember him?, is also absent.

It is a bit bizarre that the world Champions absence is offset by someone who won’t be riding for us again, but there we are!

Gifford, a one time, if brief, White City second halfer, gets twelve from five fast. if at times dubious, starts. The Wells/ Dent pairing is split up and neither fare particularly well in their new roles. Bill McMillan continues his good home form with seven paid eight, which includes a heat win.

The second half sees Roy Williams have a couple of outings. He had previously ridden at the White City in 1965 when known as “Bernie Lagrosse”. He beats Brian Whaley in one of the races

Tigers Scorers

Berg 12, J McMillan 8, B McMillan 7, W Templeton 5, Wells 4, Dent 4,Whaley 1:

Newcastle Scorers

Gifford 12, Olsen 10, Butterfield 6, Peterson 5, Jay 2, Watkin 1,Burt 1:

 

 

 

 

Some results, and leading scorers from the Swedish League meetings – make of them what you will

Njudungarna 43 ( Samuelsson 11, Josefsson 10, Malmquist 8, Andersson 4)

Getingarna    35  (Michanek 11, B Jansson 9)

 

Getingarna    43  (Michanek 2, Enecrona 11, B Jansson 9)

Indianerna    35  (L Larsson 11,Ringtrom 8, L Jansson 8)

 

Kaparna        53  (Brannefors 12, Fundin 11)

Indianerna     25  (L Larsson 7, L Jansson 4, Ringstrom 2)

 

 

 

 

 

               September 13    Tigers   36   Exeter   42  (British League)

Exeter’s all round strength finally wears the Tigers down, with Blewett completely belying his “wild man” tag, with a composed display that nets him seven points.

Blewett’s inclusion in the Exeter team is due to Mike Cake being involved in a car accident the previous night, and, although unscathed, having his bike badly damaged. It’s an ill wind etc!

Berg rears up in his first race and gives the others a good thirty yard start but he  picks them off by the third lap and finishes with a bit to spare.Tigers are six points down with three heats remaining and despite Berg riding in all three heats, no inroads are made into this deficit, with Berg losing his unbeaten run.

Tigers Scorers

Berg 11, J McMillan 9, Wells 8, Dent 4, B McMillan 2,W Templeton 2, Whaley 0:

Exeter Scorers

Sweetman 9, Ashby 8, Briggs 7, Blewett 7, Squibb 6, Street 3, Bass 2:

 

 

Bo Josefsson has qualified for the Swedish Final to be held this weekend and scores six points, finishing ahead of Persson and Malmquist among others. Malmquist sustains some serious head injuries in his last ride and won’t be seen in Britain again until 1970.

 

 

 

 

 

             September 18    Tigers   55   Newport   23  (British League)

Its Fireworks Night tonight with promoter Whaley shrewdly holding this on the second last home meeting in case the weather intervenes. As it happens there are no weather problems for our final two meetings but the idea still had merit. Harryson’s non appearance means that we again invoke an offsetting rider replacement for our resident “ghost” Josefsson. Interesting that we only think about it when our opponents are entitled to it!

Gooch starts brightly but suffers a reoccurrence of his back injury and pulls out after two productive rides. Tigers win ever race from heat three onwards and only impatience at the gate leading to tapes exclusions for Wells and Berg stops them joining Dent in the unbeaten stakes. Bobby Beaton makes his Tigers debut and scores two points comfortably beating his opposite number Shearer in both their encounters. He replaces Brian Whaley who has been diagnosed with a cartilage problem in his knee. This has no doubt hampered him in the closing weeks of the season.

Tigers Scorers

J McMillan 11, Berg 9, Wells 9, Dent 8, B McMillan 8,W Templeton 8, Beaton 2:

Newport Scorers

Erskine 7, Strachan 6, Gooch 5, Francis 3, Hughes 2, Shearer 0, Golden 0:

 

 

 

 

September 20   Newport   49   Tigers   29  (British League)

 

Tonight’s meeting is another double header, with Newcastle the other visitors. Wells has broken down en route and Newport refuse Whaley’s plea to let the Tigers race in the second event. Possibly this is too difficult to organise at short notice. Wells actually arrives in time to take three of his programmed rides but chooses not to ride – how strange. Despite missing both Wells and Josefsson, there is never any suggestion of rider replacement! - although both Gooch and Francis are n the injured list for the home side, so may be they offset.

Strachan is the home side’s hero but loses narrowly to Jim McMillan in heat nine, a near dead heat finish apparently.

Tigers Scorers

J McMillan 11, Berg 9, Dent 6, B McMillan 2,W Templeton 1, Beaton 0:

Newport Scorers

Strachan 14, Harryson 10,Hughes 12, Erskine 5, Shearer 4, Golden 4:

 

 

 

 

September 27    Glasgow Open Championship

 

I’ll always regret that I missed the final meeting at the White City, even if it wasn’t known until some months later! It was the Glasgow September holiday weekend and I headed off to the high spots of Ayr with my pals for a few days to see, amongst others, Geno Washington and the RamJam band - anyone remember them?

Whaley has booked an excellent field, and, joy of joys, they all showed up! With rain threatening, the largest crowd of the season turns out and are rewarded with an excellent display from Nigel Boocock and Olsen in particular. Mauger makes a hash of his fourth outing and runs a last behind Persson, McMillan and Haley. He seems to be suffering from fatigue after winning the World Championship earlier this month, but he wins heat twenty, which will prove to be the last race ever run at the White City.

I’m sure no one leaving the stadium gave a thought to the possibility that the Tigers wouldn’t be back there next season. They had come through a traumatic year, which had been a baptism of fire for debutant promoter Whaley, but, with the advent of Berg and Jim McMillan as quality heat leaders and the news that Monk was more than ready to return, things were set fair for 1969.

Mary Hopkins iconic anthem was number one in the charts and was no doubt played tonight

“Those were the days my friend

 

We thought they’d never end…

 

….oh yes these were the days!

 

But end they did, and we never returned to the White City

Top Scorers

N Boocock 14, Olsen 13, Monk 12, Mauger 11,Berg 11, Persson 11:

 

 

 

September 28   Coatbridge   48   Tigers   30  (British League)

On a track drenched by rain, races were generally won from the gate. Bill McMillan makes the gate in heat five and has no real problem heading Persson, Hunter and Berg. Willie Templeton is our other race winner, beating brother Doug in the process. Willie finishes the evening as our top scorer and challenges Eide for the Silver Sash title, in a race that sees Eide win from the gate. Eide also secures the Scottish Match Race title beaten holder Berg…and with that our season was over!

Tigers Scorers

 

W Templeton 9, Berg 7, J McMillan 5, Wells 4, B McMillan 4, Beaton 1, Dent 0:

 

Coatbridge Scorers

 

Eide 12, Persson 11, Harkins 10, Collins 6, D Templeton 5, Hunter 2, Hughson 2:

 

 

 

 

 

October 16   Poole   43   Sheffield   35  (British League)

 

This result ensures that Poole move off the bottom of the league where Tigers and Kings Lynn re tied on twenty seven points, with the Stars having the better race points figures. Interestingly the Tigers have beaten the Stars both home and away!

Poole are eight points up with two races to go, and, although Charlie Monk wins the penultimate race, Pirates Smith and Fossengen block out Larsson and Poole have won the meeting.

For the second time in five seasons Tigers are wooden spoonists, but they do have the most points that the cellar team has recorded so far, slight consolation.

 

 

                              Home           Race   Pts          Away               Race Pts         Match 

                  Mtgs   W    D     L     For     Ag          W    D    L     For       Ag          Pts

 

Coventry    36      17     0     1     825    578            5     0    13     611      791         44

Hackney     36       18     0     0     801    600            3     2    13     620      783         44

Exeter         36       18     0     0     927    474            2     1    15     629      774         41

Sheffield     36       18     0     0     866    536            2     1    15     597      801         41

Newcastle   36      18     0      0     837    566            2     0    16     617      784         40

West Ham  36       16     0     2      794    604            3     1    14     660      744        39

Halifax       36       17     1     0      846    557            2     0    16     578      822        39

Coatbridge  36      16     1     1      838    563            2     0    16     566      834        37

Wimbledon 36      17     0     1      837    562            1     0    17     574      822        36

Belle Vue    36      16     0     2      819   585             2     0    16     568      832        36

Swindon      36      14     0     4      839   560             3     1    14     609      793        35

Leicester     36       16    1      1     770    631            1     0    17     603      799        35

Newport      36      17     1      0     823    579            0     0    18     525      878        35

Cradley       36       13    1      4     783    620            2     3    13     590      810        34

Oxford        36       16     0     2     774    628            1     0    17     545      859        34

Wolves       36        16    0     2     800    600            0     0    18     588      813        32

Poole          36       13     2     5     755    648            0     0    18     572      830        28

K Lynn       36       13     1     4     763    636            0     0    18     567      837        27

Glasgow     36       11     1     6     757    647            2     0    16     555      848        27