1976

Mid-Table Stabilisation

bodycolour

Season Review

  Cradley were pretty much unchanged for 1976, Sandor Levai had decided to retire before the end of the 1975 season so Steve Bastable moved up to the British League full time, and Nigel Wasley came into the side as reserve.
Once again the Heathens beat bogey team Leicester in April this time away at Blackbird Road, so there were high hopes of improving on the 1975 eleventh position.
They had three good heat leaders in Boulger, Persson and Cribb all capable of scoring home and away but in May Bernie returned to Sweden saying that due to the weakening pound he could no longer afford to race in Britain. 
It was near impossible to find a replacement so since Bernie was technically 'withholding his services', guest facilities were allowed.
A number of guests were used but the Heathens desperately need someone to replace Bernie.  Arthur Price took over the third heat leader spot but although he had some good scores he was very inconsistent and his average dropped as the season went on.

team photo

L to R. Arthur Price, Steve Bastable, Bruce Cribb, Dave Perks,
Team Manager - Vic White,
kneeling Nigel Wasley, Bernt Persson On bike: - John Boulger.
(photo by kind permission of Speedway Star & News)

Dave Perks again showed a lot of promise and was challenging Arthur Price as third heat leader but he too was up and down though his average did improve slightly as the season went on, and he managed to steer clear from injuries.  Steve Bastable showed that he was a star in the making averaging over five points per meeting in his first British League campaign.

Cradley finished the year in a comfortable mid-table position winning some difficult matches and losing some they should have won, nevertheless it was a creditable performance after losing Bernie so early on.

They were easily knocked out of the first round of the Midland Cup by Coventry, and then after losing at Ipswich by just one point in the K.O.Cup were beaten at home by ten points, just to show how inconsistent they were they beat the Witches by twelve points in October.  The Dudley Wolves Trophy was limited to just one leg this year with Cradley running out easy winners beating the Wolves 45-33 at Monmore Green.

Individually John Boulger reached the Inter Continental Final of the World Final missing out on the Final when his slipping clutch pulled him into the tapes and he was excluded. John also became the first rider in British League history to score more than half of the team's total against Reading in September and we still won the match 40-38 with JB scoring twenty one - a seven ride maximum.  He also scored more than half the team's total with sixteen at Coventry but we lost this one 47-31.

Malcolm Simmons again showed his liking for Dudley Wood winning the Cradley round of the Grande Prix and retaining the L.P.Trophy.
 


programme 1976

Riders Performance Chart

1976 Cradley 'United'.

Rider
Matches
Rides
Points
Bonus
Total
Aver
J.Boulger
33
145
355
5
360
9.93
B.Persson
9
38
79
8
87
9.16
B.Cribb
36
159
288
23
311
7.82
P.Bass
1
3
3
2
5
6.67
M.Corradine
1
4
6
0
6
6.00
A.Price
36
140
179
28
207
5.91
S.Bastable
36
129
142
25
167
5.18
D.Perks
36
131
143
26
169
5.16
N.Wasley
31
88
55
17
72
3.27
P.Church
4
9
0
0
0
0.00

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


Final League Table

British League
Team PL W D L BP
For
Ag
Pts
Ipswich
36
27
1
8
--
1555
1252
55
Belle Vue
36
23
2
11
--
1515
1289
48
Exeter
36
23
2
11
--
1460
1338
48
Coventry
36
21
2
13
--
1446
1358
44
Swindon
36
19
4
13
--
1462
1343
42
Reading
36
19
3
14
--
1477
1325
41
Hackney
36
20
0
16
--
1392
1404
40
Newport
36
19
1
16
--
1436.5
1366.5
39
CRADLEY
36
19
1
16
--
1397
1408
39
Poole
36
18
1
17
--
1391
1412
37
Wolverhampton
36
18
1
17
--
1347
1456
37
Hull
36
18
0
18
--
1469.5
1331.5
36
White City
36
16
3
17
--
1437.5
1367.5
35
Kings Lynn
36
16
3
17
--
1426
1375
35
Halifax
36
14
1
21
--
1304.5
1500.5
29
Wimbledon
36
12
3
21
--
1360.5
1443.5
27
Sheffield
36
13
1
22
--
1321
1483
27
Birmingham
36
7
0
29
--
1196.5
1603.5
14
Leicester
36
5
1
30
--
1233
1571
11

Malcolm Simmons again won the L.P.Trophy and
won the Grande Prix in July

   K.O.Cup

Round 1- 1st leg - Ipswich 39 Cradley 38
John Boulger 12, (G)Jim McMillan 11, Bruce Cribb 6,
Dave Perks 6, Steve Bastable 3, Arthur Price 0,
Nigel Wasley 0.
Round 1 - 2nd leg - Cradley 34 Ipswich 44
Bruce Cribb 10, John Boulger 9, Dave Perks 8,
Steve Bastable 7, Arthur Price 0, Nigel Wasley 0,

Ipswich win 83-72 on aggregate


Midland Cup

Round 1-1st leg - Cradley 35 Coventry 43
John Boulger 14, Bernt Persson 9, Bruce Cribb 4, 
Nigel Wasley 3, Arthur Price 2, Dave Perks 2,
Steve Bastable 1.
Round 1-2nd leg - Coventry 50 Cradley 28
Bruce Cribb 12, Bernt Persson 8, Arthur Price 5,
Nigel Wasley 2, Dave Perks 1, Steve Bastable 0.

Coventry win 93-63 on aggregate


Dudley Wolves Trophy

Wolves 33 Cradley 45
John Boulger 13, Steve Bastable 11, Bruce Cribb 10, 
Dave Perks 6, Arthur Price 3, Nigel Wasley 2.

This was run over one leg only Cradley the winners 45-33


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