1992

Inury Ravaged 4th Place & Cup Semi-Final

Season Review

  At the start of the 1992 season Cradley had the current World Champion Jan O Pedersen and a very useful looking side.  It took some very hard negotiations with Jan O who was making a stand for money he believed he was worth and it was deadlock right up to the start of the season.
The two Americans Billy Hamill and Greg Hancock looked as though they would make heat leaders and with Simon Cross and Gert Handberg backed up by the two youngsters in the reserve spots - Scott Smith and the promising Mark Robinson.
Alan Grahame unfortunately had to be left out and he joined Stoke in Division 2, and youngster Wayne Garratt was loaned out to Newcastle, where tragically he was to suffer injuries from which he was never to recover.

Cradley started the season well and were top of the Northern section of the Gold Cup mini league, before they lost at Wolverhampton where Simon Cross crashed, but he was fit to resume racing later that week.
They were top of the Homefire League after winning their first three matches, then Crossie smashed his kneecap but nevertheless he rode in and won a World Championship Qualifying Round at Exeter, just seven days later.

team photo

Young Scott Smith also excelled when he won the World Under-21 Qualifying Round at Long Eaton, beating established stars Joe Screen and Mark Loram..

L to R.Gert Handberg, Andy Grahame, Billy Hamill, Scott Smith,
Andy Phillips, Greg Hancock, On Bike - Simon Cross.
(Our grateful thanks to Speedway Star for the photo)

Jan O Pedersen had a fine testimonial at Dudley Wood but a few days later he suffered serious back injuries in Denmark and he was finished for the season.
Cradley found it extremely difficult to cover for a World Champion and they moved lower and lower down the leagues, then they lost the services of Billy Hamill with a broken wrist. They signed Andy Grahame to cover the loss, who was always a great lover of Dudley Wood, but then Scott Smith was injured and Mark Robinson decided to retire.
Within days Gert Handberg was also out with a broken jaw.
Now desperate for riders Colin Pratt persuaded Wolves to let him have Andy Phillips on loan for the rest of the season.  For several weeks the Heathens struggled, they got knocked out of the BSPA Cup by second division Glasgow.  The weakest spot was Gert Handberg whose efforts were no where near what could be expected of a rider who had managed third place in the Wroclaw World Final.
During August the Heathens were back to full strength apart from Jan O and a welcome back to form brought victory in the annual Dudley / Wolves Trophy battle, and within a month they surprised the Wolves once again by beating them by two points at Monmore Green in a league match.  But their characteristic fighting spirit deserted them in the KO Cup semi-final when they lost against Reading who were eventually beaten by Bradford in the final.  Reading got some consolation however when they took the league title

Cradley ended the season with a flourish which got them four victories from the last five league matches, which enabled them to finish much higher up the table in fourth position.
But for those unfortunate injuries particularly to Jan O, who knows?  They could well have won the league!  Cradley won five and drew two away matches, a record second only to Reading,  But what really set them back were the three defeats at Dudley Wood.  There is no doubt that the tragic death of Wayne 'Bodger' Garratt also had the most disturbing and distressing effect on the rest of his former teammates at both Newcastle and Cradley.


Riders Performance Chart

1992 Cradley 'The Heathens'.

Rider
Matches
Rides
Points
Bonus
Total
Aver
J.O.Pedersen
3
14
35
4
39
11.14
G.Hancock
24
126
279
16
295
9.37
B.Hamill
20
94
183.5
17
200.5
8.53
S.Cross
24
114
206
23
229
8.04
G.Handberg
21
88
151
14
165
7.50
An.Grahame
17
75
103
16
119
6.35
A.Phillips
17
78
74
9
83
4.26
S.Smith
23
88
66
14
80
3.64
M.Meredith
1
3
1
1
2
2.67
J.Walker
4
16
8
2
10
2.50
M.Robinson
3
12
2
1
3
1.00
A.Boyd
2
6
0
0
0
0.00

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


Final League Table

British League 1992

Team PL W D L BP
For
Ag
Pts
Reading
24
19
1
4
11
1199
944
50
Bradford
24
15
0
9
8
1132
1027
38
Poole
24
15
2
7
6
1129
1028
38
CRADLEY
24
14
2
8
8
1118.5
1038.5
38
Wolverhampton
24
14
1
9
9
1106
1051
38
Belle Vue
24
14
1
9
8
1144
1011
37
Ipswich
24
11
2
11
6
1090
1065
30
Coventry
24
10
2
13
5
1056.5
1097.5
26
Kings Lynn
24
9
0
15
7
1005
1136
25
Oxford
24
8
4
12
4
1053
1103
24
Arena Essex
24
7
0
17
3
1008
1149
17
Eastbourne
24
6
2
16
1
965
1190
15
Swindon
24
5
2
17
2
996
1162
14

Dudley Wolves Trophy

1st leg - Cradley 50 Wolves 38
Andy Phillips 12, Billy Hamill 11, Andy Grahame 11,
Simon Cross 7, Greg Hancock 7, Scott Smith 2.

2nd leg - Wolves 42 Cradley 47
Billy Hamill 15, Greg Hancock 10, Andy Phillips 10,
Andy Grahame 7, Simon Cross 3, Gert Handberg 1,
Scott Smith 1.

Cradley win 97-80 on aggregate


Cradley again hosted a World Championship British Semi-Final which was won by Gary Havelock

The Jan o Pedersen Testimonial was a pairs event won by Sam Ermolenko and Ronnie Correy.

-Golden Hammer-
The Golden Hammer was won by Sam Ermolenko


    Gold Cup

Northern Section

Team P W D L For Agn B Pts
Wolves 10 9 1 0 498 398 5 24
Oxford 10 5 0 5 441 456 2 12
Cradley 10 4 0 6 460 438 3 11
Coventry 10 4 0 6 435 463 2 10
Bradford 10 4 0 6 434 466 2 10
Belle Vue 10 3 1 6 426 473 1 8


        Southern Section

Team P W D L For Agn B Pts
Reading 12 10 0 2 566.5 512.5 5 25
Kings Lynn 12 9 0 3 554 525 4 22
Ipswich 12 7 0 5 582 498 5 19
Arena Essex 12 6 0 6 555 524 4 16
Poole 12 5 0 7 527.5 552.5 1 11
Swindon 12 4 0 8 519 560 2 10
Eastbourne 12 1 0 11 474 606 0 2


        Wolves beat Reading 92-88 
         on aggregate in the Final


K.O.Cup

Round 1 - 1st leg Cradley 54 Poole 36
Billy Hamill 15, Jan O.Pedersen 13, Greg Hancock 12,
Scott Smith 7, Gert Handberg 7, Peter McNamara 0,
Mark Robinson 0.
Round 1- 2nd leg Poole 49 Cradley 41
Gert Hanberg 14, Greg Hancock 10, Billy Hamill 10,
Scott Smith 5, Simon Cross 2, Anthony Boyd 0.

Cradley win 95-85 on aggregate

Round 2 - 1st leg
Arena Essex 49 Cradley 41
Greg Hancock 13, Simon Cross 11, Andy Grahame 10,
Phillips 4, Scott Smith 3, Gert Handberg 0.

Round 2 - 2nd leg Cradley 56 Arena Essex 34
Gert Handberg 14, Simon Cross 13, Greg Hancock 12,
Andy Grahame 10, Andy Phillips 4, Scott Smith 3.

Cradley win 97-83 on aggregate

Semi-Final 1st leg
Reading 55 Cradley 35
Greg Hancock 16, Billy Hamill 8, Simon Cross 4,
Scott Smith 3, Andy Phillips 2, Gert Handberg 2,
Andy Grahame 0.
Semi-Final 2nd leg Cradley 45 Reading 44
Billy Hamill 14, Greg Hancock 11, Scott Smith 6,
Simon Cross 5, Gert Handberg 4, Andy Grahame 3,
Andy Phillips 2.

Reading win 99-80 on aggregate
Reading then lost the Final to Bradford 88-92


 Yet another reminder of how dangerous the sport is, when Wayne Garratt crashed on Sunday 13th September he sustained injuries that took his life 2 weeks later.
A local lad, Wayne was on loan to Newcastle this season Cradley unable to fit him into the averages.

He was just 23 years old.


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