Jan O's Year - Another World Champ!
The two divisions of the British League from 1990
were amalgamated into one big League sponsored by Sunbrite, with a points limit
of 40 this meant that a lot of clubs were forced to release riders to weaker
teams. Fortunately for Cradley for the first time in years the Heathens did not
have to de-strengthen since Colin Pratt's planning was formulated, mainly
because of injuries to his riders.
The Heathens did not do at all well in the early
season Gold Cup and never looked like qualifying for the Final, but in the KO
Cup they knocked Ipswich out in the second round. They won their first
four league matches very comfortably, and made the finals of the Four Team
|Cradley found themselves top of the league with seven wins fro eight matches, they were forced to use rider replacement for Jan O Pedersen when he was on International duty and the Heathens were knocked out of the new BSPA Cup and then over-taken by Wolves at the top of the League table.||
R. Gert Handberg, Billy Hamill, Greg Hancock, Wayne Garratt, Alan
Grahame, Team Manager - Colin Pratt
|Simon Cross ,
fit again returned to action and was soon celebrating his Testimonial
meeting at Dudley Wood, Wayne Garratt too celebrated his return to the track
after being banned for several matches for unprofessional conduct (he threw
a fist at Neil Collins after an on track collision).
A tremendous two leg home and away win in the Dudley/Wolves Trophy was very welcome, but Cradley trailed seven points behind them in the league but with three matches in hand.
Cradley were defeated by three points away at Reading in the KO Cup semi-final but won 50-39 at Dudley Wood five nights later, that put them into their tenth KO Cup Final.
Cradley's league championship hopes were dashed on the 3rd October at Ipswich losing 52-38 when Gert Handberg was unable to ride following an injury he sustained in Denmark and Billy Hamill had to withdraw early in the meeting after crashing into the fence.
In the first leg of the KO Cup at Bradford the Heathens fought valiantly but eventually lost by ten points, in the past they had often won from this position, mainly because of their tremendous fighting spirit in the cup but alas on this occasion ex Heathen Simon Wigg was at his brilliant best scoring 14 points at home and away and the Odsal men won both legs to take the Cup 97-83.
Cradley might well have won the league but for four away defeats in October which also caused them to be pushed into third place behind Wolves and Bradford.
Although they did not win a major trophy in 1991, all Heathens supporters were very proud to welcome back the club's third World Champion, Jan O Pedersen completed a five ride maximum in Gothenburg on the 31st August.
Riders Performance Chart
statistics taken from the Cradley Speedway database for BL matches only.
Final League Table
O.Pedersen became Cradley's third rider to win World crown in just 10
Jan O had a reputation of 'missing the gate' and having to fight his way through, but on this occasion Jan was quick from the start and was hardly troubled with a full 15 point maximum.
completed his hat-trick with 15 points in the World Team Cup and 14 in the
Back to History