1961

The First KO Cup Victory

Season Review

 As Harry Bastable had at times been leading a one-man crusade for Cradley in 1960, it was imperative to find some reliable back-up in ’61, and it came with a five-star rating in the form of the now legendary Ivor Brown.

 One ex-Heathen made for way for another as team manager; Roy Moreton took over the duties from Phil Malpass, the latter being tied to increasing work commitments as a journalist.

team photo

L to R. Mike Wilmore, John Hart, Tony Eadon, George Bewley, Ivor Brown, Harry Bastable, Derek Timms.

  Brown was signed from Yarmouth , who closed down, and the Heathens also brought in youngster Johnny Hart and experienced campaigner Derek Timms.  Clive Featherby had departed Dudley Wood for Sheffield , but the Eadon brothers returned for a second season, although Eric was soon transferred to Wolverhampton after a disappointing start.  Ronnie Rolfe and George Bewley cemented their team places after a steady previous season.

Before long, Ivor Brown had taken over the top spot in the team and forged a formidable reputation, heightened by his choice of white jersey over his leathers.  Compared to the normal fare of dull, black racing attire, Ivor stood out in more ways than one.  He was one of the best riders in the Provincial League, adored by Cradley fans, despised by away supporters and the scourge of the new Wolves team.  The Monmore Green men entered the league in ’61 and thus began the renowned Cradley-Wolves local rivalry.  The Heathens took the honours in the league encounter that season, winning home and away, while Wolves snatched a narrow aggregate victory in the first ever Dudley-Wolves Trophy.

 

Cradley were also battling their way up the league and pulled off some fine victories over the rest of their opponents, including back-to-back away victories at Middlesbrough and Newcastle in June.  They bolstered the squad by tempting Ivor ‘Digger’ Davies out of retirement, and signing bright prospect Stan Stevens from Rayleigh.  Juniors Alan Totney, Mike Wilmore and Bruce Cooley were also given first-team opportunities although only Totney managed to hold down a place.

 

The difference to the squad made by Hart, Timms, Davies, Stevens and of course Brown made Cradley much more of a force to be reckoned with compared to 1960.  The Heathens climbed to fourth place in the league (out of 12 teams) and in the last home match of the season built up a mighty first leg lead over Edinburgh in the Knock Out Cup Final, with Brown, Bastable and Timms all unbeaten.  After a two-week wait they completed the job at the Scots’ Meadowbank circuit to lift the silverware for the first time.  KO Cup Champions, Cradley could boast the league’s top points scorer in Ivor Brown, and seemed to have abundant back-up in an exciting and emerging team.


Riders Performance Chart

'The Heathens' 1961


Rider
Matches
Rides
Points
Bonus
Total
Aver
I.Brown

20

86

213

3
216 10.05
H.Bastable
20
87
183
7
190
8.74
S.Stevens
6
26
46
3
49
7.54
I.Davies
4
14
22
3
25
7.14
G.Bewley
10
39
52
9
61
6.26
D.Timms
18
70
95
11
106
6.06
J.Hart
15
50
51
14
65
5.20
R.Rolfe
8
32
35
6
41
5.13
A.Totney
4
9
8
2
10
4.44
T.Eadon
18
65
52
13
65
4.00
V.White
11
33
19
3
22
2.67
M.Wilmore
2
4
1
1
2
2.00
E.Eadon
2
8
3
0
3
1.50
R.Spencer
2
4
1
0
1
1.00

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


Final League Table

Provincial League
Team
PL
W
D
L
BP
For
Ag
Pts
Poole
20
15
1
4
--
932.5
622.5
31
Plymouth
20
12
0
8
--
826
726
24
Stoke
20
12
0
8
--
811
737
24
CRADLEY
20
11
1
8
--
781
777
23
Rayleigh
20
11
0
9
--
769
784
22
Edinburgh
20
10
1
9
--
784
767
21
Sheffield
20
10
0
10
--
782
772
20
Exeter
20
9
0
11
--
772.5
777.5
18
Wolverhampton
20
7
0
13
--
715
841
14
Middlesborough
20
6
1
13
--
712.5
839.5
13
Newcastle
20
5
0
15
--
655.5
897.5

10

     Northern League

Team P W D L F A Pts
Stoke 12 9 0 3 527 406 18
Edinburgh 12 7 2 3 534.5 399.5 16
CRADLEY 12 8 0 4 523 405 16
Wolves 12 5 1 6 440.5 492.5 11
Sheffield 12 5 1 6 427.5 506.5 11
Middlesbro 12 4 0 8 417.5 510.5 8
Newcastle 12 2 0 10 389 539 4

Cradley also competed in the East Anglia League - 1 meeting.
Yarmouth 45 Cradley 33
Stan Stevens 12, Ivor Brown 10, Harry Bastable 5, Ivor Davies 4, Derek Timms 1, Joe Westwood 1, John Hart 0.


KO Cup

Round 1 - Stoke 46 - Cradley 50
Harry Bastable 13, Ivor Brown 11, John Hart 6 Vic White 6, Ivor Davies 6, Derek Timms 6, Tony Eadon 2.
Round 2 - Cradley 55 - Poole 41
Ivor Brown 15, Harry Bastable 12, Vic White 9, Tony Eadon 7, John Hart 5, Ivor Davies 5, Derek Timms 2.
Final - 1st leg - Cradley 68 - Edinburgh 20
Ivor Brown 15, Harry Bastable 13, Derek Timms 13, Ivor Davies 10, John Hart 8, Tony Eadon 5, Vic White 4.
Final - 2nd leg - Edinburgh 59 - Cradley 34
Derek Timms 7, Harry Bastable 6, Ivor Brown 6, Tony Eadon 6, John Hart 4, Vic White 3, Ivor Davies 2.

Cradley win the KO Cup 102 - 79 on aggregate.

Dudley Wolves Trophy
(
The first DWT)

1st Leg - Cradley 49 Wolves 46
Ivor Brown 14, Harry Bastable 11. Derek Timms 9, Ivor Davies 6, John Hart 5, Vic White 3, Tony Eadon 1.

2nd Leg - Wolves 51 - Cradley 45
Harry Bastable 11, Ivor Brown 10, Derek Timms 10, Ivor Davies 7, Vic White 5, John Hart 1, Tony Eadon 1.

Wolves win 97 - 94 on aggregate

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