The Golden Hammer - 1977
This meeting would become one of THE classics and the Cradley Heath fans thoroughly deserved such a 'Golden' event. I became interested in this one after seeing Lee Ashby's interview with Bruce Penhall and Erik Gundersen. The cheeky Dane teasing his former team-mate and rival showing off the trophy that the 'Golden Eagle' never won. And of course the fortunes of any Kiwis that may have been on this stage. Are we sitting comfortably? Then lets begin with 1977.
July 27. Steve Johnson reports for ' Speedway Star'; "Ole Olsen won his first four races in blistering style before being crowded out on the first turn of Heat 20. He fell and was excluded, leaving both himself and John Boulger on 12 points."
Tom Johnson of 'Express & Star' continued, "Always in these individual meetings, there are hard luck stories and this was no exception. Anders Michanek was unfortunate not to be given a second chance by the referee when he was left at the tapes in that last heat. It was a bad start and some referees would have called the riders back, but this time Mich did not get the benefit and instead of possibly earning himself a place in the run-off, he had to settle for a spot among the also rans. Whatever the ifs and buts, it all added up to a fine tournament and one which is sure to become a permanent highlight in the Dudley Wood fixture list."
Ole Olsen became the first winner, having no trouble in defeating former Cradley Star John Boulger in the run-off. JB may have been disappointed but just look at the field he finished ahead of, including the Champion of the World, Peter Collins.
Heat 1. Thomsen, Valentine, Michanek, Morton.
Ole Olsen 12. John Boulger 12. Finn Thomsen 11. Phil Crump 11. Steve Bastable 10. Anders Michanek 10. Dave Jessup 9. Edward Jancarz 8. Ray Wilson 7. Peter Collins 6. Doug Wyer 6. Bernt Persson 6. Jim McMillan 5. Bob Valentine 4. Marek Cieslak 2. Chris Morton 1. Martin Ashby ns. Gordon Kennett ns. Res BRUCE CRIBB dnr. Res Dave Perks dnr.
This article was first published on 27th February 2022
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