On a day when England's cricketers were being humiliated by Australia, the country's top speedway stars redressed the balance by trouncing their opposition--including Australia--to win their semi-final group of the World Team Championship in Reading last night (14 July).
GV PAN & GVs Heat 1. Start & finish won by Ivan Mauger (NZ) from J. Louis (England) & crowd (3 shots)
GV PAN & GVs Heat 6. Start & finish again won by Mauger who just pips Collins of England on the line & crowd (3 shots)
GV PAN & GVs Heat 9. Start & finish won by P. Collins (England) as Australian Boulger falls on fifth bend (45 ft) & crowd (3 shots)
GV PAN & Gvs Start & finish of Heat 13. Won by J. Louis (England) in an exciting battle from last to first place & takes G. Peterson (NZ) on last bend (2 shots)
Initials BJB-1700 BJB/1710
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Background: On a day when England's cricketers were being humiliated by Australia, the country's top speedway stars redressed the balance by trouncing their opposition--including Australia--to win their semi-final group of the World Team Championship in Reading last night (14 July).
Victory gives England, the world team champions, a place in the finals to be held in West Germany on September 21.
England scored a total of 37 points--13 points ahead of second placed Australia, with New Zealand third (21 points) and Scotland fourth (14 points).
Sheer consistency was the hallmark of England's success, with three top riders--John Louis of Ipswich, Peter Collins of Belle Vue and Dave Jessup of Leicester--all scoring ten points apiece. Only New Zealand's Ivan Mauger, with 11 points, managed a higher individual score.
SYNOPSIS: The first heat of the Speedway World Team Championships semi-final at England's Reading track on Monday. And all eyes on former World Champion Ivan Mauger of New Zealand, who forges to the front right from the start...and stays there to give his team a flying start. England's John Louis finishes second.
On to heat six, now, and Ivan Mauger in action again--this time beating off a determined challenge from England's Peter Collins. Mauger finished the night with the highest individual score of eleven points. But he got poor support from his team-mates.
As the evening progressed, it was the holders of the World Team Championships, England, who showed the greatest consistency. In Heat Nine, a fall by Australian captain John Boulger let England's Peter Collins through to take the winning place. Three England team men -- Collins, John Louis and Dave Jessup--all scored ten points apiece, to give England a winning thirty-seven point total and a place in the finals in West Germany. Australia, thirteen points behind, were second, with New Zealand third and Scotland fourth.
Let's end with one of the best rides of the night. Heat Thirteen--with England's John Louis of the Ipswich club fighting all the way to come from behind. In a magnificent final sprint, he just crosses the line ahead of New Zealand's Garry Peterson. With performance like that, England must be favourites to retain their world title in September.