1964

Cup Slip and League Slump

Season Review

1964 begun with an unresolved dispute between the National League and Provincial League bosses, with the prospect of amalgamation firmly on the horizon.  It was the last season before the formation of the British League, but for Cradley it ended another position lower in the table than the previous year.

team photo

L to R. John Hart, Eric Hockaday, Frank Holmes - Team Manager - Roy Moreton,
George Major, Alan Totney, Glyn Chandler  On bike: - Ivor Brown
(photo by kind permission Stan Wilkes)

Eric Hockaday was signed from Stoke and Glyn Chandler from St Austell, the former proving to be the better acquisition of the pair.
Alan Totney started in flying form, continuing his sound progress but Derek Timms struggled to settle into the scoring groove, and was eventually forced to share his reserve berth with Ron Cooper, Fred Priest and Frank Holmes. 

J
ohn Hart rode well as heatleader, Welshman Ivor Hughes forced his way into the lower end of the team and Harry Bastable tried his best to retire throughout the season, but was continually called upon to cover for absent team-mates.  The late addition of Coventry junior Matt Mattocks yielded little return.   

The season quickly deteriorated into an injury-ravaged campaign, affecting the team from top to bottom and rarely allowing the Heathens to field a full strength line-up.  One shrewd acquisition helped enormously to stop the year from slipping away completely though; George Major was snapped up from the fringe of the Norwich squad and turned into a significant scorer.

1964 was the year that Ivor Brown’s personal battle with Ivan Mauger eventually boiled over.  The pair had battled for the status of top dog in the Provincial League and they developed a niggling rivalry.  When Cradley visited Newcastle in June, first Mauger ended up almost in the fence and then the Kiwi took his revenge by forcing Brown one step further, and subsequently all the way to hospital with a badly gashed foot.  Their feud continued throughout the season, even involving fisticuffs in the Dudley Wood pits, but the upshot was that Cradley lost their number one for a sizeable chunk of fixtures.


Johnny Edwards missed most of the season through injury as well as a temporary switch to Wimbledon , and as the injuries and departures took their toll, the Heathens were soundly beaten on their travels like never before.  They went down 60-18 at Exeter , failing to even win a race, and then 50-28 two nights later at Poole .  When Glasgow visited the Wood for the final league match of the season, it was to decide who would end up with the wooden spoon.  A six-point home victory was inspired by a return to form for both Hart and Totney, and it gave the side a confidence boost ahead of a second successive Knock Out Cup Final.  This time it was a step too far as Ivor Brown’s 15-point maximum couldn’t prevent a two-point aggregate defeat.  Reaching the final had been an accomplishment, but 10th place in the league from 12 teams meant another disappointing end for the club.

 


programme

Riders Performance Chart

1964 Cradley 'The Heathens'

Rider
Matches
Rides
Points
Bonus
Total
Aver
I.Brown
15
67
170
4
174
10.39
G.Major
19
83
178
9
187
9.01
J.Hart
17
68
125
12
137
8.06
E.Hockaday
22
89
145
19
164
7.37
M.Mattocks
1
3
4
0
4
5.33
H.Bastable
15
60
69
11
80
5.33
J.Edwards
18
70
69
11
80
4.57
A.Totney
17
54
45
15
60
4.44
D.Timms
4
11
6
63
9
3.27
G.Chandler
14
40
23
7
30
3.00
F.Priest
3
7
3
1
4
2.29
I.Hughes
6
12
2
1
3
1.00
F.Holmes
3
7
1
0
1
0.57

statistics taken from the Cradley Speedway database for PL matches only.


Final League Table

Provincial League

Team
PL
W
D
L
BP
For
Ag
Pts
Newcastle
22
17
0
5
--
966
747
34
Hackney
22
15
1
6
--
929
786
31
Wolverhampton
22
12
1
9
--
871
841
25
Newport
22
11
1
10
--
885
829
23
Edinburgh
22
10
2
10
--
884.5
827.5
22
Poole
22
10
1
11
--
834
882
21
Exeter
22
10
1
11
--
823
813
21
Sheffield
22
9
2
11
--
817.5
818.5
20
Middlesbrough
22
9
2
11
--
768
948
20
CRADLEY
22
8
1
13
--
840
875
17
Long Eaton
22
8
0
14
--
781
931
16
Glasgow
22
6
2
14
--
805
906
14
Sunderland
3
1
0
2
--
101
132
2
(Sunderland matches deleted from records)

KO Cup

1st Round - Cradley 51 Edinburgh 45
John Hart 14, Ivor Brown 13, Eric Hockaday 9,
George Major 7, Alan Totney 5, Glyn Chandler 2,
Harry Bastable 1.
2nd Round - Cradley 51 Long Eaton 45
 George Major 12, Harry Bastable 12, John Hart 10,
John Edwards 7, Alan Totney 6, Eric Hockaday 4, 
Glyn Chandler 0.
Semi-Final - Cradley 54 Newcastle 42
Ivor Brown 15, George Major 11, John Hart 11, 
Eric Hockaday 6, Harry Bastable 5, Alan Totney 5,
John Edwards 1.
Final 1st leg - Newport 58 Cradley 38
Ivor Brown 12, Harry Bastable 7, George Major 6, 
John Hart 6, Alan Totney 4, Eric Hockaday 3, 
John Edwards 0
Final 2nd leg - Cradley 57 Newport 39
Ivor Brown 15, John Edwards 13, John Hart 12, 
Harry Bastable 7, Eric Hockaday 5, Alan Totney 5,
Matt Mattocks 0.
Newport win the Cup 97-95 on aggregate


Dudley Wolves Trophy

Southern League

1st leg - Wolves 59 Cradley 37
George Major 9, John Hart 9, Eric Hockaday 8,
Harry Bastable 5, John Edwards 4, Glyn Chandler 2, 
Alan Totney 0.

2nd leg - Cradley 59 Wolves 37
John Hart 13, Harry Bastable 12, Eric Hockaday 10,
John Edwards 10, George Major 8, Glyn Chandler 4,
Alan Totney 2.
Drawn

Replay 1st leg - Wolves 50.5  Cradley 45.5
Ivor Brown 12,  John Edwards 8.5, Harry Bastable 8,
John Hart 8, Eric Hockaday 6, Alan Totney 3,
Dai Evans 0.

Replay 2nd leg - Cradley 43 Wolves 53
Ivor Brown 14, Harry Bastable 9, John Hart 7,
John Edwards 6, Eric Hockaday 5, Alan Totney 1,
Erol Brook 1.
Wolves win 103.5 - 88.5


   

Team P W D L For Ag Pts
Poole 12 8 0 4 521 413 13
Exeter 12 7 0 5 516 416 11
Newport 12 6 0 6 476 457 10
Cradley 12 7 0 5 448 487 9
Hackney 12 6 0 6 456.5 475.5 8.5
Long Eaton 12 5 0 7 420.5 509.5 6
Wolves 12 3 0 9 426 506 5.5

Ivan Mauger won the Alan Hunt Memorial Trophy in July

Iron & Steel Trophy
Aggregate Scores - 
Cradley 83 - Sheffield 109
Cradley 98 - Newport 94
Newport 97 - Sheffield 95

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