1990

The New American Revolution

 

Season Review

It was a good job that the Division 1 promoters voted to keep the guest rider system at their conference since the Division 2 promoters decided not to use guests at all.  It would have been difficult for the Heathens to complete their fixtures!
They had so many injuries during this season as well as losing Erik Gundersen the year before it must be something of a record, using no fewer than 51 guests during the season.
Jan O Pedersen, Simon Cross, Gert Handberg and Greg Hancock were retained from 1989.  Billy Hamill was signed to replace Erik Gundersen, Alan Grahame eventually signed his contract (was it ever in any doubt?). The only other change was at reserve, John Bostin, was the rider to go to get the points average down.  It was decided to give the reserve berth to the best of the junior riders on press and practice day, it went to 22 year old Mark Robinson - Robbo as he soon became known.
Erik's involvement with the club continued as his health continued to improve following his terrible accident from the year before.

team picture
He became landlord to the two young Americans! It was the ideal solution really after Greg's previous accommodation with Lance King had been lost due

L to R. Erik Gundersen, Billy Hamill, Jan O.Pedersen, Mark Robinson,
Greg Hancock, Gert Handberg, Alan Grahame, Team Manager Colin Pratt,
On bike - Simon Cross.

to Lance being unable to secure a BL place.  It was also good rehabilitation for Erik to help his recovery and his workshop facilities were invaluable to the two young lads.  To this day they are so appreciative of the mentor they had to carry them both to the top of the speedway world.
Everyone was looking to Billy the Bullet Hamill to follow in the footsteps of his predecessors Bruce Penhall, Bobby Schwartz, Lance King and indeed Greg Hancock, he did not disappoint, typical American lad ready to learn, very confident and very likeable.
Despite this it took time for Hancock and Hamill to settle down in the UK.
It was not long before the troubles began, Gert Handberg was injured in practice and missed two matches with a hand injury. Colin elected to use Rider Replacement for Gert against Bradford on 24th March and were beaten by the Dukes 49-41. Next it was Robbo who got hurt crashing into Shawn Moran and damaging his shoulder, missing two matches.
Simon Cross and Jan O during this time were phenomenal both riding in Test matches for their respective countries. Pedersen was at his best winning the Gold Bar meeting in Denmark in one the most spectacular speedway meetings ever seen on camera coming from last place to first in an eight man eight lap Final. Then winning the Danish Final and breaking the Holsted track record twice.
Then the troubles came,Simon was partner to Kelvin Tatum in the World Pairs when he crashed in the six man races breaking two vertibrae and putting him out of action for 18 months.  This was soon followed by Jan O getting injured in a freak accident go-kart racing and breaking his arm.
These injuries wrecked the Heathens chances of winning anything for the remainder of the season.
It was particularly devastating to go out of the KO Cup which we had won for so many years.
 

1990 programme

Riders Performance Chart

1990 Cradley 'The Heathens'.

Rider
Matches
Rides
Points
Bonus
Total
Aver
J.O.Pedersen
13
67
148
7
155
9.25
S.Cross
14
70
147
11
158
9.03
B.Hamill
27
129
201
19
220
6.82
Al.Grahame
32
146
198.5
33
231.5
6.34
G.Handberg
28
134
187
20
207
6.18
G.Hancock
18
78
102
4
106
5.44
M.Robinson
28
97
50
12
62
2.56
D.Haynes
5
14
1
1
2
0.57
S.Smith
1
3
0
0
0
0.00
G.Frankham
1
2
0
0
0
0.00

 

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


Final League Table

1990 British League
Team PL W D L BP
For
Ag
Pts
Reading
32
19
3
10
13
1513.5
1360.5
54
Wolverhampton
32
17
5
10
10
1446
1431
49
Belle Vue
32
19
2
11
7
1454
1418
47
Oxford
32
17
2
13
10
1467
1405
46
Bradford
32
16
1
15
8
1470
1407
41
Swindon
32
15
2
15
8
1462
1416
41
CRADLEY
32
12
1
19
7
1425.5
1454.5
32
Coventry
32
10
3
19
7
1386
1487
30
Kings Lynn
32
7
5
20
2
1315
1560
21

K.O.Cup

Round 2 - 1st leg Cradley 45 Bradford 45
Jan O.Pedersen 14, Gert Handberg 9, Simon Cross 7,
(G)Richard Knight 6, Billy Hamill 6, Alan Grahame 3, 
Mark Robinson 0.
Round 2 - 2nd leg Bradford 54 Cradley 36
Jan O.Pedersen 15, Simon Cross 11, Gert Handberg 5, 
(G)Peter Nahlin 5, Alan Grahame 0, David Haynes 0.

Bradford win 99-81 on aggregate
Bradford beat Swindon in the Semi-Final ..
but lost to Reading in the Final 98-82


Cradley started the season by winning the Premiership against Oxford 95-85 on aggregate.

We hosted a World Championship British Semi-Final and Gary Havelock was the winner.

THis Years Test Match was a sidecar event England 40 Rest of World 50

The Golden Hammer was won by Simon Cross
-Golden Hammer-

Gold Cup

Northern Section

Team P W D L For Agn B Pts
Bradford 8 5 0 3 392 328 3 13
Cradley 8 4 1 3 365 352 3 12
Wolves 8 4 1 3 343 377 1 10
Belle Vue 8 3 0 5 348 369 2 8
Coventry 8 3 0 5 349 371 1 7


Southern Section

Team P W D L For Agn B Pts
Oxford 6 4 0 2 283 256 3 11
Reading 6 4 0 2 269 270 2 10
Swindon 6 3 0 3 269 269 1 7
Kings Lynn 6 1 0 5 257 283 0 2


Bradford beat Oxford 106-74 in the Gold Cup Final


Dudley Wolves Trophy

1st leg - Wolves 50 Cradley 39
Alan Grahame 14, (G)Kelvin Tatum 11, Billy Hamill 7,
(G)Bobby Ott 3, Gert Handberg 2, Jan O.Pedersen 1,
Mark Robinson 1.
2nd leg - Cradley 52 Wolves 37
Jan O.Pedersen 13, (G)Kelvin Tatum 12,
 (G)Jimmy Nilsen 8, Billy Hamill 6, Gert Handberg 6,
 Alan Grahame Mark Robinson 2.

Cradley win 91-87 on aggregate


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