1986

Shared Cup & Second All-Round

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Season Review

Colin Pratt was a frustrated man, after three years as promoter at Cradley he once again had to weaken his side because of the dreaded 45 point limit.  He kept World Champion Erik Gundersen as skipper and retained Jan O Pedersen. Phil Collins and Simon Cross gave him a strong top four, once again Lance King was released this time on loan to Bradford.
Steve Bastable returned to the Heathens in a three way deal with Alan Grahame going to Swindon and Alun Rossiter to Coventry.  Colin bought in Nigel Leaver as one of the reserves but was still one rider short, with just 3.60 points to play with, he tried for Wolves Jan Steachman but after failing to get him promoted junior rider Paul Taylor, however Paul failed to make the grade and Paul Fry was given his place.  He managed to average more than three points per match in over thirty matches overall.
The Heathens managed a place in the Final of the League Cup after an exciting four point victory over Coventry in the semi-final, but after losing at home by two points to Oxford the second leg was never staged owing to very bad weather conditions so the cup was shared with the Cheetahs.

team photo

In the British League Cradley lost just four matches and that was enough to put them in second place behind Oxford, who beat the Heathens at Dudley Wood by twelve points and at Cowley by eight.

L to R. Simon Cross, Phil Collins, Paul Taylor,
Steve Bastable, Nigel Leaver, Jan O Pedersen,
 
On bike: - Erik Gundersen.
(photo by kind permission of Speedway Star & News)

Cradley clinched a K.O.Cup Final place against Oxford and after a terrific struggle at Dudley Wood the match ended at 39-39 the stage was set for a Titanic battle at Cowley but again the weather intervened and the cup had to be shared with the League Champions.
Coventry defeated the Heathens in the semi-final of the Midland Cup but again retained the Dudley Wolves Trophy winning both home and away.
On the individual side, Jan O Pedersen was just a whisker away from winning the World Championship settling for a runners up spot with 13 points.  Erik Gundersen made up for his Katowice disappointment in the Final by winning the World Long Track title.
He finished second in the British League Riders Final at Belle Vue after a run-off against Shawn Moran, Jan Andersson and Chris Morton.  Gundersen was a holder of the Golden Helmet for a number of weeks during the season but eventually lost it again to Jeremy Doncaster at Ipswich towards the end of September.  Simon Cross also made an unsuccessful challenge for the helmet in July against Marvin Cox at Dudley Wood.  Erik was an easy winner of the Golden Helmet with a five ride maximum.

programme

Riders Performance Chart

1986 Cradley 'The Heathens'.

Rider
Matches
Rides
Points
Bonus
Total
Aver
E.Gundersen
19
80
215
6
221
11.05
J.O.Pedersen
19
77
147
20
167
8.68
P.Collins
20
81
152
16
81
8.30
S.Cross
19
74
135
17
152
8.22
S.Bastable
20
79
104
17
121
6.13
A.Silver
1
4
5
1
6
6.00
N.Leaver
20
64
55
11
66
4.13
P.Fry
17
51
39
6
45
3.53
W.Garratt
1
3
1
0
1
1.33
J.Bostin
1
3
1
0
1
1.33
N.Newman
1
3
0
0
0
0.00

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


Final League Table

1986 British League
Team PL W D L BP
For
Ag
Pts
Oxford
18
18
0
0
8
863
540
44
CRADLEY
20
13
3
4
9
854
706
38
Wolverhampton
19
23
0
6
6
771
710
32
Sheffield
19
10
2
7
6
783
697
28
Coventry
20
10
1
9
6
829
731
27
Bradford
20
8
1
11
4
758
799
21
Reading
20
7
3
10
4
757
801
21
Swindon
8
8
1
10
4
693
784
21
Ipswich
20
7
1
12
3
729
831
18
Belle Vue
19
5
0
14
2
675
805
12
Kings Lynn
20
2
0
18
0
626
934
4

K.O.Cup
Round 1 - 1st leg Belle Vue 45 Cradley 33
Erik Gundersen 15, Jan O.Pedersen 10, Simon Cross 2,
Steve Bastable 2, Phil Collins 2, Nigel Leaver 2,
Paul Taylor 0,
Round 1 - 2nd leg Cradley 46 Belle Vue 32
Erik Gundersen 11, Steve Bastable 11, Simon Cross 10,
Jan O.Pedersen 5, Paul Taylor 4, Phil Collins 3, 
Nigel Leaver 2.
Cradley win 79-77 on aggregate

Round 2 - 1st leg
Cradley 50 Reading 28
Erik Gundersen 10, Simon Cross 10, Phil Collins 9,
Steve Bastable 8, Jan O.Pedersen 7, Paul Fry 5,
Nigel Leaver 1.
Round 1 - 2nd leg Reading 45 Cradley 33
Erik Gundersen 13, Phil Collins 9, Jan O.Pedersen 8,
Simon Cross 2, Nigel Leaver 1, Steve Bastable 0,
Wayne Garratt 0.
Cradley win 83-73 on aggregate

Semi-Final - 1st leg
Cradley 50 Bradford 28
Phil Collins 11, Jan O.Pedersen 10, Simon Cross 10,
Erik Gundersen 9,
Steve Bastable 5, Nigel Leaver 3,
Paul Fry 2.
Semi-Final - 2nd leg Bradford were ordered to concede the tie by the BSPA after two attempts to run the meeting were rained-off.

Final 1st leg - Cradley 39 Oxford 39
Jan O.Pedersen 8, Phil Collins 8, Erik Gundersen 7, 
Nigel Leaver 6, Steve Bastable 4, Paul Fry 3,
Simon Cross 3.
Final - 2nd leg The second leg of the Final was never raced when two attempts were rained-off, the trophy was agreed by the clubs to be shared.


Cradley hosted an International Test Match in May - England 53 Denmark 55.

Erik Gundersen was an easy winner of the Golden Hammer with 15 points

Golden Hammer

    League Cup

Team P W D L F A Pts
Coventry 20 14 1 5 815 743 37
Oxford 20 13 1 6 810 745 36
Ipswich 20 12 1 7 801 755 30
Cradley 20 10 2 8 808 750 29
Swindon 20 9 3 8 814 746 27
Sheffield 20 10 2 8 791 762 27
Bradford 20 9 3 8 798 760 26
Reading 20 10 0 10 772 778 24
Belle Vue 20 6 2 12 737 821 17
Wolves 20 6 1 13 744 816 16
Kings Lynn 20 2 2 16 672 886 6


Play-offs
Semi-Final - 1st leg Coventry 39 Cradley 39
Erik Gundersen 11, Jan O.Pedersen 8, Steve Bastable 8,
Simon Cross 4, Phil Collins 4, Paul Fry 3,
Nigel Leaver 1.
Semi-Final - 2nd leg Cradley 41 Coventry 37
Erik Gundersen 10, Simon Cross 8, Phil Collins 6,
Jan O.Pedersen 6, Steve Bastable 4, Paul Fry 4,
Nigel Leaver 3.
Cradley win 80-76 on aggregate
Oxford beat Ipswich 82-72 in the other Semi-Final

Final - 1st leg Cradley 38 Oxford 40
Erik Gundersen 11, Phil Collins 7, Simon Cross 6,
Jan O.Pedersen 5, Steve Bastable 5, Nigel Leaver 2,
Paul Fry 2.
Final - 2nd leg The second leg of the Final was never staged, after two attempts the decision was made to share the Cup.


Midland Cup
Semi-Final - 1st leg Cradley 41 Coventry 37
Simon Cross 10, Erik Gundersen 9, Phil Collins 9,
Jan O.Pedersen 7, Nigel Leaver 3, Steve Bastable 2,
Paul Fry 1.
Semi-Final - 2nd leg Coventry 43 Cradley 35
Jan O.Pedersen 11, Steve Bastable 7, Erik Gundersen 7,
Simon Cross 4, Phil Collins 4, Nigel Leaver 2, 
Paul Fry 0.

Coventry win 80-76 on aggregate


Dudley Wolves Trophy
1st leg Cradley 41 Wolves 37
Phil Collins 9, Erik Gundersen 9, Simon Cross 8,
Steve Bastable 6, Jan O.Pedersen 5, Paul Fry 3,
Nigel Leaver 1.
2nd leg Wolves 35 Cradley 43
(G)Jeremy Doncaster 12, Jan O.Pedersen 11, Phil Collins 9,
Simon Cross 4, Steve Bastable 4, Paul Fry 2, 
Nigel Leaver 1.

Cradley win 84-72 on aggregate


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