Fab Four Not Enough for Cups Silverware
Everyone who knew Derek Pugh was very surprised when he announced his
retirement and he would not be promoting speedway again after the 1993 season.
He had promoted at Dudley Wood for 17 years and transformed the side. The
highest position the Heathens attained before his promotion was 7th in the
British League, by the time he retired only once had they been below 7th and
they had won 20 Trophies including two league championships. It was a
shock but hardly noticed by the general public.
|It wasn't long before the injuries began, Andy Grahame was out early on and then in the match against Arena Essex Morten Andersen, Billy Hamill and David Clarke went hospital within minutes of each other.||
R. Greg Hancock, Dave Clarke, Billy Hamill, Peter Nahlin,
Clarke were out for the rest of the season and the management moved quickly
to sign Peter Nahlin the former World Under 21 Champion who rode so well
that he was elected Rider of the Year by the supporters. He also announced
that he didn't want to ride for anyone else but the Heathens. Another Swede,
Jonathan Forsgren also joined the team and did quite well, showing a lot of
potential. Cradley had lost too many points early on to have much of
an impact on the league title, but showed their characteristic fighting
spirit in the cup matches. In the fours they won all of their
qualifying rounds fairly easily and went to Peterborough as one of the
favourites but it was not their day, although Crossie and Nahlin were
brilliant the Yanks had an off day and Cradley were well beaten.
They rode very well in the Speedway Star sponsored KO Cup to reach the Final against the high flying Eastbourne Eagles, the first leg at Dudley Wood was rained off and the following day on the South Coast they took a pasting. They had to run the home leg on one of Cradley's off nights to a much smaller crowd, although they won by two points it was not enough to win the cup.
Individually Greg Hancock reached his second consecutive World Final but for a very poor last ride he could have been World Champion with 3 wins giving him 4th place behind Tony Rickardsson, Hans Nielsen and Craig Boyce in this the last one-off Final before being changed to a Grand Prix competition.
The management bought in a local vicar the Reverend David Woodhouse to exorcise the track in an attempt to stop the run of injuries but it must have had an adverse effect as it was announced that Dudley Wood Stadium was to be sold for housing.....
Riders Performance Chart
statistics taken from the Cradley Speedway database for BL matches only.
Final League Table
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