1950

Hunt bows out & Heathens Lift Cup

 

Season Review

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Cradley began their second season in Division Two with the same squad as the previous year, weakened only by the loss of Eric Williams who was recalled to parent club Wembley. A shield competition was introduced as a warm-up to the league fixtures however, and by the time this was complete, it was clear that reinforcements would be needed.

team photo

L to R. Bill Clifton, Gil Craven, Les Tolley, Phil Malpass, Harry Bastable,
front row: - Alan Hunt, Frank Young, Jim Pain.

Les Marshall returned as speedway manager and Dick Wise became team manager, signing Yorkshireman Eric Boothroyd and Londoner Brian Shepherd, both from Third Division Tamworth. Harry Bastable had emerged as a promising new squad member from a winter training school with Alan Hunt and he was given chances at reserve along with Frank Young. Phil Malpass, Gil Craven, Les Tolley and Bill Clifton remained, but Jack Arnfield managed only a handful of matches all year due to a series of injuries, eventually returning to Australia. His place was later taken by Laurie Schofield, again brought in from Tamworth.

Hunt was head and shoulders above the rest of the Heathens team, and sharper than most in this division, despite having some troubles with Dudley Wood's new concrete starting pad. Whenever his inspired scoring was given any serious support from the rest of the team, the Heathens were a force to be reckoned with. Shepherd and Boothroyd settled well and added a missing link to the middle of the team where Craven had been struggling to match his form of previous years. Once again, the Heathens fought their way up the league table, and rare away victories at Yarmouth, Plymouth and Ashfield in the closing stages of the season helped to propel them into the top three. They were left to rue costly home defeats against Coventry and Plymouth, as they finished incredibly just one point behind champions Norwich. Glasgow (White City) sneaked between the teams into second spot, pipping the Heathens on match points. Just as in Cradley's first ever season in 1947, one point separated the top three teams in the league table.
This time though with success in both the Midland Cup and Kemsley South Shield.

Alan Hunt had achieved a remarkable average, exceeding 10.00 and became the first second division rider to represent England in a test series, making his international debut against Australia at New Cross. He had proved too good for the second tier of league racing and the end of the 1950 season saw him make the move up to Division One with Birmingham. He led the Heathens in his last year in his usual style, often claiming points from the back but notching a number of maximums and track record times. The signings of Boothroyd and Shepherd gave the team enough bite to mount their title challenge and both riders were good value for 6.00+ averages. Les Tolley continued his improvement and Phil Malpass regained confidence after his 1949 dip in form, but an injury ravaged year for Gil Craven and Jack Arnfield saw their averages plummet.

Two riders made their breakthrough in very different ways; Harry Bastable took his opportunities and improved throughout the season showing great potential for the future, while Frank Young exploded onto the scene with some notable performances before fading in the Autumn and losing his way. Laurie Schofield proved a reliable late signing to steady the bottom half of the team and faithful Bill Clifton worked as hard as ever for his 3.22 average.


programme

Riders Performance Chart

1950 Cradley 'The Heathens'

Rider Matches Rides Points Bonus Total Aver
A.Hunt 25 -- 250 -- 250 10.00
E.Boothroyd 25 -- 164 -- 164 6.56
B.Shepherd 25 -- 158 -- 158 6.32
P.Malpass 27 -- 163 -- 163 6.04
G.Craven 27 -- 155 -- 155 5.74
L.Tolley 28 -- 158 -- 158 5.64
L.Schofield 15 -- 59.5 -- 59.5 3.97
B.Clifton 27 -- 87 -- 87 3.22
F.Young 11 -- 34 -- 34 3.09
J.Arnfield 5 -- 14 -- 14 2.80
H.Bastable 6 -- 13 -- 13 2.17

statistics taken from the Cradley Speedway database for NL matches only.
for a more comprehensive look at Cradley's statistics for 1950 we recommend The Speedway Researcher - statistics by Nigel Nicklin & Roger Beaman -
1950 statistics - pdf file you will need Adobe Acrobat for this - get Adobe Acrobat


Final League Table

1950 National League Division 2

Team
PL
W
D
L
BP
For
Ag
Pts
Norwich
28
18
1
9
--
1310.5
1038.5
37
Glasgow (White City)
28
18
0
10
--
1272
1074
36
CRADLEY
28
18
0
10
--
1258.5
1090.5
36
Coventry
28
16
0
12
--
1273
1072
32
Walthamstow
28
16
D
12
--
1212
1127
32
Halifax
28
16
0
12
--
1212
1134
32
Southampton
28
14
1
13
--
1215.5
1133.5
29
Edinburgh
28
14
1
13
--
1176
1166
29
Plymouth
28
13
0
15
--
1170
1177
26
Sheffield
28
13
0
15
--
1158
1193
26
Glasgow (Ashfield)
28
12
0
16
--
1141
1205
24
Yarmouth
28
12
0
16
--
1059
1287
24
Newcastle
28
10
0
18
--
1072.5
1274.5
20
Hanley
28
9
2
17
--
1046
1295
18
Fleetwood
28
8
1
19
--
1020
1329
17

National Trophy
Round 1 - 1st leg Cradley 60 Ashfield 47
Frank Young 16, Gil Craven 14, Les Tolley 12, Harry Bastable 6, Phil Malpass 4, Jim Pain 4, Bill Clifton 3, Jack Arnfield 1.
Round 1 - 2nd leg Ashfield 61 Cradley 47
Gil Craven 12, Frank Young 10, Phil Malpass 7, Geoff Godwin 7, Les Tolley 4, Bill Clifton 3, Harry Bastable 2, Jim Pain 2.
Ashfield win 108-107 on aggregate

 

Midland Cup
Coventry 48
Cradley 48
Alan Hunt 10, Frank Young 7, Phil Malpass 6, Brian Shepherd 6, Bill Clifton 6, Gil Craven 5, Les Tolley 5, Eric Boothroyd 3.
Cradley 51 Coventry 44
Alan Hunt 14, Bill Clifton 8, Eric Boothroyd 7, Les Tolley 7, Frank Young 6, Brian Shepherd 5, Gil Craven 3. Phil Malpass 1.
Cradley win the Cup 99-92 on aggregate 

 


South Shield
Cradley 57.5 Coventry 26.5
Alan Hunt 11.5, Les Tolley 11, Phil Malpass 9, Gil Craven 8, Jack Arnfield 7, Bill Clifton 5, Les Beaumont 4, Jim Pain 2.
Coventry 47 Cradley 37
Gil Craven 10, Alan Hunt 9, Phil Malpass 7, Jack Arnfield 5, Les Tolley 4, Les Beaumont 1, Bill Clifton 1, Ray Beaumont 0.
Cradley 51 Plymouth 33
Alan Hunt 12, Gil Craven 11, Les Tolley 9, Bill Clifton 6, Jack Arnfield 5, Phil Malpass 5, Les Beaumont 2, Ray Beaumont 1.
Plymouth 37 Cradley 46
Alan Hunt 9, Phil Malpass 9, Jack Arnfield 8, Les Tolley 7, Bill Clifton 6, Gil Craven 5, Geoff Godwin 2, Frank Young 0.
Southampton 45 Cradley 39
Alan Hunt 12, Phil Malpass 8, Bill Clifton 6, Gil Craven 5, Jack Arnfield 5, Harry Bastable 2, Geoff Godwin 1, Les Tolley 0.
Cradley 46 Southampton 38
Alan Hunt 11, Phil Malpass 10, Les Tolley 7, Gil Craven 7, Jack Arnfield 4, Bill Clifton 3, Harry Bastable 2, Les Beaumont 2.

cont.

Cradley 49 Norwich 35
Alan Hunt 12, Gil Craven 10, Phil Malpass 10, Les Tolley 5, Bill Clifton 5, Jack Arnfield 2, Harry Bastable 1, Jim Pain 0.
Norwich 37 Cradley 46
Alan Hunt 11, Les Tolley 10, Phil Malpass 8, Gil Craven 6, Jack Arnfield 4, Les Beaumont 3, Bill Clifton 3, Frank Young 1.
Cradley 49 Yarmouth 35
Alan Hunt 10, Les Tolley 10, Gil Craven 8, Phil Malpass 7, Les Beaumont 6, Bill Clifton 5, Jack Arnfield 3, Frank Young 0.
Yarmouth 45 Cradley 39
Alan Hunt 12, Frank Young 9, Gil Craven 7, Phil Malpass 6, Bill Clifton 4, Les Tolley 1, Harry Bastable 0, Jack Arnfield 0
Cradley 49 Walthamstow 35
Alan Hunt 11, Phil Malpass 10, Les Tolley 9, Harry Bastable 7, Bill Clifton 6, Jim Pain 3, Gil Craven 3, Jack Arnfield 0.
Walthamstow 60 Cradley 24
Alan Hunt 8, Phil Malpass 5, Gil Craven 4, Les Tolley 3, Harry Bastable 2, Frank Young 1, Bill Clifton 1, Jim Pain 0.
Cradley were winners of the Kemsley South Shield


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