1975

A Season of Underachievement

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Season Review

  The Swedish ban was lifted and the Heathens fans were delighted to welcome the return of Bernie Persson, together with Johnny Boulger they formed a formidable spearhead for 'United'.
Howard Cole though decided to start a new life in New Zealand and Malcolm Corradine decided against making a comeback after his loan spell with Long Eaton.
Arthur Price rode hard enough to make third heat leader though showed some inconsistency, these three were well supported by Bruce Cribb who showed some improvement after seasons of injuries, and Sandor Levai did all that was expected of him, two promising reserves in Russ Osborne (on loan from Boston) and Dave Perks completed the team with Steve Bastable being called upon when needed.
Then the troubles began again.....

team photo

L to R. Bernt Persson, Dave Perks, Bruce Cribb, Russell Osborne, Sandor Levai, Arthur Price
Team Manager - Peter Worthington, On bike: - John Boulger.
(photo by kind permission of Speedway Star)

First Dave Perks crashed at Coventry in the second half and broke his collar-bone then Sandor Levai suffered the same fate a few weeks later.  Guest replacements were drafted in with almost thirty riders being used in League and Cup matches alone....
The season started quite sensationally too in April, the team walked out at Oxford after heat 7 during a blinding snowstorm the Heathens were fined and subsequently lost the match 58-14 by default then early in May they crushed Exeter (with captain Ivan Mauger) at the County Ground by 18 points, and followed up beating Kings Lynn 42-36 at Saddlebow Road.
Cradley's inconsistency showed through again when they were thrashed by Hackney and Wimbledon who were two of the weaker teams in the League.  Perhaps if they had been able to field a full team without guests they may have done better however they finished in their highest league position for many years with 32 points.

The Heathens defeated Kings Lynn then Newport in the KO Cup but lost home and away to Belle Vue in the semi-final.  Wolves beat Cradley in the Midland Cup and Dudley Wolves Trophy.  They thrashed Teeside 52-26 in the first round of the Inter-League Cup but went out to Oxford in the next round. Malcolm Simmons showed his liking for Dudley Wood by taking the L.P.Trophy with 14 points - one point ahead of John Boulger and Bernie Persson.

One great landmark was the Heathens win over Leicester in April, it was the first time the Heathens had beaten the Lions in a British League Match and then to rub it in they did it again a challenge match at the end of the season.


programme 1975

Riders Performance Chart

1975 Cradley United.

Rider
Matches
Rides
Points
Bonus
Total
Aver
J.Boulger
33
137
293
9
302
8.82
B.Persson
27
110
214
17
231
8.40
A.Price
32
130
212
42
254
7.82
B.Cribb
34
143
232
29
261
7.30
N.Wasley
1
3
3
1
4
5.33
B.Clark
1
3
3
1
4
5.33
S.Levai
22
81
91
15
106
5.23
S.Bastable
17
62
63
12
75
4.84
D.Perks
29
93
96
14
110
4.73
R.Osborne
9
29
20
4
24
3.31
P.Share
1
2
1
0
1
2.00
K.Anderson
1
4
1
0
1
1.00

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


Final League Table

1975 British League
Team PL W D L BP
For
Ag
Pts
Ipswich
34
26
1
7
--
1458
1192
53
Belle Vue
34
25
2
7
--
1488
1164
52
Newport
34
24
1
9
--
1538
1112
49
Exeter
34
20
3
11
--
1410
1240
43
Sheffield
34
21
0
13
--
1368
1281
42
Reading
34
21
0
13
--
1342
1308
42
Oxford
34
18
0
16
--
1370
1274
36
Leicester
34
16
4
14
--
1348
1303
36
Wimbledon
34
16
2
16
--
1317
1331
34
Halifax
34
15
3
16
--
1289
1362
33
CRADLEY
34
15
2
17
--
1288
1356
32
Kings Lynn
34
14
3
17
--
1295
1355
31
Wolverhampton
34
13
1
20
--
1237
1414
27
Hull
34
10
4
20
--
1258
1393
24
Poole
34
10
3
21
--
1240
1411
23
Coventry
34
9
2
23
--
1176.5
1473.5
20
Hackney
34
9
1
24
--
1221.5
1429.5
19
Swindon
34
8
0
26
--
1202
1447
16

    KO Cup

Round 1- 1st leg-Kings Lynn 42 Cradley 36
Bernt Persson 12, Arthur Price 9, John Boulger 7, Sandor Levai 4, Bruce Cribb 2, Dave Perks 2, 
Steve Bastable 0.
Round 1-2nd leg-Cradley 46 Kings Lynn 32
John Boulger 11, Bernt Persson 11, Bruce Cribb 10, 
Steve Bastable 7, Sandor Levai 4, Arthur Price 3,
Dave Perks 0.
Cradley win 82-74 on aggregate

Round 2-1st leg - Newport 49 Cradley 29
John Boulger 8, Bruce Cribb 8, Bernt Persson 6,
(G)Phil Bass 3, Sandor Levai 2, Arthur Price 1,
Steve Bastable 1.
Round-2-2nd leg - Cradley 51 Newport 27
Bernt Persson 12, John Boulger 10, Bruce Cribb 9, 
Arthur Price 7, Dave Perks 7, Steve Bastable 6.
Cradley win 80-76 on aggregate

Semi-Final-1st leg Cradley 32 Belle Vue 45
John Boulger 11, Bruce Cribb 10, Bernt Persson 5, 
Dave Perks 3, Arthur Price 2, (G)Colin Farquharson 1,
Sandor Levai 0.
Semi-Final-2nd leg-Belle Vue 44 Cradley 34
Bernt Persson 11, Bruce Cribb 8, John Boulger 7, 
Steve Bastable 4, (G)Chris Turner 2, Dave Perks 1, 
Arthur Price 1.
Belle Vue win 89-66 on aggregate

Belle Vue went on to beat Leicester 86-70 on aggregate in the Final


Midland Cup
Round 1-1st leg - Coventry 40 Cradley 37
Bernt Persson 8, Arthur Price 6, Sandor Levai 6,
John Boulger 5, Bruce Cribb 5, Russ Osborne 4, 
Dave Perks 3.
Round 1-2nd leg - Cradley 43 Coventry 35
Bernt Persson 11, John Boulger 10, Bruce Cribb 9,
Arthur Price 5, Steve Bastable 5, Dave Perks 3,
Russ Osborne 0.
Cradley win 83-73 on aggregate

Semi-Final - 1st leg - Wolves 42 Cradley 35
Bruce Cribb 11, John Boulger 9, Arthur Price 7,
Dave Perks 4, Steve Bastable 3, Sandor Levai 1.

Semi-Final - 2nd leg - Cradley 34 Wolves 44
John Boulger 11, Bruce Cribb 7, Bernt Persson 7, 
Steve Bastable 7, Arthur Price 2, Dave Perks 0,
(G)Ken Mathews 0.
Wolves win 86-79 on aggregate

 

Dudley Wolves Trophy

1st leg - Wolves 42 Cradley 36
Bruce Cribb 10, Steve Bastable 7, Arthur Price 6,
Dave Perks 5, (G)Steve Weatherley 4, (G)Bob Humphries 2,
John Boulger 2
2nd leg - Cradley 40 Wolves 38
John Boulger 10, Arthur Price 8, Bruce Cribb 7,
Steve Bastable 5, Dave Perks 5, (G)Alan Emerson 5,
(G)Roger Johns 2.

Wolves win 80-76 on aggregate


The L.P.Trophy in June was won by
 Malcolm Simmons


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