Yet again decimated by injuries!
Britain was hit by recession during a winter of discontent and speedway was
no exception to this with the Control Board announcing new pay rates.
|Colin was told by Wolves that if he wanted Andy Grahame in the side then he would have to buy him, but Colin bought in Reserve League Riders Champion Justin Walker and Anthony Boyd.||
R. Alan Grahame, Morton Andersen, Scott Smith, Anthony Boyd,
badly losing by two points at home to Wolves in the Clubcall Trophy. Greg
Hancock started well and Scott Smith was impressive with paid 9 points, but
the rest were disappointing. They managed to scrape by at home by a
slender margin in most of the home matches but looked pretty fragile. They
were well beaten in their away matches, however Greg was looking a different
class than the rest of the team and Scott Smith was flying too. At
least they were free from injuries - or so they thought, on May 8th Cradley
lost at home to Reading despite an 18 point maximum from Greg. But
they also lost Simon Cross with back and chest injuries and Alan Grahame
with facial injuries and were in Russells Hall Hospital in adjacent beds.
Soon after, Andy Grahame crashed out of the British Final with leg injuries.
Things got desperate when Scott Smith crashed out at Poole. In June
Colin got on the phone to Hamill who was due to come to the UK for the
Overseas Final, Billy relented and with some sponsors was back in the team
with paid 15 points against Bradford in a match which saw Andy Grahame
return, however he hardly had time to say hello to his team mates when
Greg was out with damaged knee ligaments and had to return to the States for
a special knee brace to be fitted. Yes the injury jinx again with
worse to come in July, Handberg broke his wrist in a spectacular pile-up and
was followed a few heats later by Billy Hamill with a chipped bone in his
wrist after hitting the fence.
Cradley were now two places from the bottom of the league and fighting to avoid the wooden spoon. With the help from guest riders and rider replacement they held their own until their own riders returned, not for long, by the time October had arrived Morten Andersen was out for the rest of the season, he was joined first by Hancock who dislocated his left elbow and finally in the last match of the season by Scott Smith who broke his collar-bone.
Inevitably the Heathens finished bottom of the league when Colin Pratt said: "This is the worst (year) for injuries since I came here 10 years ago". He was so depressed he even resigned from his position as joint team manager of the England National side.
Riders Performance Chart
statistics taken from the Cradley Speedway database for BL matches only.
Final League Table
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