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Hampden Hawks Cycle Speedway Club History

Battle with Shields

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Battle With Shields 1971

The two Shields teams dominated the Glasgow league throughout the season. Only Hampden managed a victory over the title-winning ‘Raiders’ in an epic meeting, which is remembered by both sides to this day.

            On 10th July, Hampden, missing Neil Grant, David Earley and Frank McKinnon, hosted the Shields ‘Raiders’. Both teams could field only six riders, thus allowing the two lowest scorers on each side to have up to eight rides. The early heats were tied but Hampden took a four point lead when Nicky Nicolson team rode Dale Aitken to his first heat win on his Hampden debut. The advantage was cancelled out a few heats later when Billy Russell and John Paterson gained a five-one over the same Hampden duo, after Billy had ‘shunted’ Nicky at the first bend.

            Nicky and Dale gained their revenge three heats later when Nicky gave Stevie Mitchell the ‘heave-ho’ and set Hampden up for a five-one and a six points lead. This was not well received by the Shields contingent in general – and Stevie in particular, as he lobbed a congratulatory half brick in the direction of the Hampden pair. As Hampden tried to bring this to the attention of the Steward, Billy Russell attempted to minimise the damage stammering, ‘Wwwhat brick?’ This became a well-used catch phrase over the next month or so!

            Heat 12 saw Hampden increase their lead when ‘Moosh’ Nicolson and Ronnie Young scored a four-two over the previously unbeaten Billy Russell. Heat 13 virtually clinched the match for Hampden in a race few will forget. Dick Barrie and Mike Blair lined up on the inside gates against former ‘Hawk’ Colin Caffrey, whose efforts to pass Dick left Colin stretched out on the Hampden track. Feeling somewhat aggrieved at this turn of events, Colin was on the point of throwing his bike at Dick as he passed on the next lap. Dick was shouting, “Don’t do it, Caff, you’ll get thrown out of the meeting!" when brother Fred pulled Colin from the track and locked him in his van to cool down! With only three heats remaining, Hampden now led by 12 points. Despite conceding a five-one in the next heat, the final two heats were shared and so Hampden finished winners by 52 to 44 points.

            This was without doubt the most controversial meeting of the season and it was the only time a Shields team lost a match in any competition, including the NACSA Team Championship in1971, so this explains why it tured out to be more than just another league meeting.

            Top scorers that day for Hampden were Mike Blair with 13(+2) from eight rides, Dick Barrie with 12(+1) from five and ‘Moosh’ Nicolson with 9(+1) from four rides. Billy Russell with 14 and Colin Caffrey with 9 were best for the Raiders. Mention should also be made of Hampden’s Dale Aitken who scored three heat wins in his 10 points from seven rides in an impressive debut.

                It was fortunate that the police car that had drawn up at the start of the meeting had moved off before the later heats! There were no hard feelings however as Nicky, Caff, Stevie and Billy all had a good laugh about it the following week at the speedway

 

 

Rider

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

Pts

BP

R

1

D

Barrie

3

 

 

2

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

2

12

1

5

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

N

Nicolson

 

1

 

 

2

 

 

f

 

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

5

3

4

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

M

Nicolson

 

 

3

 

 

2

 

 

1

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

9

1

4

6

R

Young

 

 

0

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

1

 

3

2

4

7

M

Blair

 

2

 

1

 

 

 

1

2

3

 

 

 

1

2

1

13

2

7

8

D

Aitken

0

 

 

 

3

 

0

 

 

1

3

 

3

0

 

 

10

 

7

Heat

 

3

3

3

3

5

3

3

1

3

4

5

4

5

1

3

3

 

 

 

Prog

 

3

6

9

12

17

20

23

24

27

31

36

40

45

46

49

52

 

 

 

 

 

Rider

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

Pts

BP

R

1

B

Russell

2

 

 

3

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

0

10

 

5

2

A

Irvine

1

 

 

 

x

 

 

3

 

 

 

x

 

 

 

 

4

1

4

3

C

Caffrey

 

3

 

 

 

3

 

 

3

 

 

 

x

 

 

 

9

 

4

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

S

Mitchell

 

 

1

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

0

 

 

2

 

3

8

2

5

6

I

Morrison

 

 

2

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

3

 

7

1

4

7

L

McDougall

 

0

 

0

 

 

 

 

0

2

 

 

 

3

 

 

5

 

5

8

W

Telford

 

 

 

 

1

0

 

 

 

0

 

 

1

 

0

 

2

 

 

Heat

 

3

3

3

3

1

3

3

5

3

2

1

2

1

5

3

3

 

 

 

Prog

 

3

6

9

12

13

16

19

24

27

29

30

32

33

38

41

44

 

 

 

 

        Without a doubt the most memorable league meeting of this particular area – after thirty years riders from both sides still remember this meeting vividly

 

        Hawks without Neil, Frank and Rolly give a debut to Dale Aitken, younger brother of Gordon – he ends up with three heat wins, including the controversial Heat 11

 

       Raiders persuade former Levernside and Glasgow rider Alan Irvine to ride for them – he shows he hasn’t changed with his own “hat trick” – a heat win and two exclusions

 

        Raiders were expected to win but were never in the lead

 

        First break through comes in Heat 5 when Alan Irvine is excluded and Nicky team rides partner Dale Aitken to a 5-1

 

       Alan Irvine gains revenge over Nicky who falls after being sandwiched by Billy Russell and Alan Irvine – scores are level

 

        Mike and Dale gain a 4-2 in Heat 10 to give Hawks a two point lead

 

        Heat 11 sees Nicky give Stevie Mitchell “the big heave” and team rides partner Dale to his second race win – Hawks now lead by six. Stevie is less than amused and throws a half brick in Nicky’s direction after the race. Conveniently steward Alan McColl seems to miss the incident, with Billy Russell stuttering “what brick” and scurrying to hide the evidence. Fortunately the police who were watching earlier races have now driven off!

 

        Moosh scores an excellent heat win over Billy Russell in the next race and with Alan Irvine again excluded Hawks increase their lead to eight

 

        Moosh takes over the junior match race title as Neil Grant is absent but is not required to defend it as Raiders do not track a junior rider

 

        Caff well fired up for the next race, but comes off worse after a joust with Dick – considers throwing his bike at the oncoming Dick – who warns that he would get thrown out the meeting if he did. Fortunately brother Fred pulls Caff away – and then locks him in his van!!! Dale Aitken wins the heat and Hawks lead is now twelve

 

        Stevie Mitchell & Lachie McDougall get a 5-1 in heat 14 to reduce the gap to eight but Hawks have no problem in splitting the remaining two heats to run out winners 52–44

 

       Steward Alan McColl no doubt had a drink or two after this meeting!!!

 

        Despite the events, Nicky sat beside Caff, Stevie and Billy the next week at the speedway and they all had a laugh about it – suspect Nicky was laughing most though!!