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Glasgow Cycle Speedway History Association

Shields win NACSA
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Shields win NACSA Team Championship 1971

The Way to the Final 

Shields had already enjoyed some unexpected good luck when they were awarded a ‘walk-over’ win in their quarter-final match, at Carrs Wood track against Tamworth, who managed to produce only four riders for the event. A hastily convened – and unofficial – match was then organised in which the four Tamworth riders and four local lads defeated the Shields team. But Shields were through to the semi-finals to meet Ivy House at Offerton. It was a closely run meeting but Shields emerged narrow victors by 51-45. A place in the final was beckoning.

The final was to be staged at Uxbridge, which was a huge track by Glasgow standards. In the weeks leading up to the final, practice sessions were arranged at the Kingsway track with the starting gate positioned at one end of the straight, simulating the long drive to the first bend.

The final took place on the 19th September. Glasgow Tigers raced at Wembley the night before. Hampden juniors ‘Moosh’ Nicolson and Neil Grant were competing in the NACSA Junior Individual Event immediately prior to the Senior Team Championship A gala weekend was in prospect for all the Scots.

Wednesfield’s Path

In contrast, Wednesfield had a tougher route to the final. After a landslide 68-28 away win over Whitley, they only just managed to defeat Leicester 48-45 in a home tie, but they had a more comfortable time beating Uxbridge 53-43 in the quarter-final at Hungerford. In the semi-final tie at Leicester their opponents were Blackley, favoured by many as likely winners. Wednesfield triumphed by a single point!

Shields were no doubt the underdogs. While many ‘down south’ were asking “Who are these guys?” the Wednesfield riders knew well enough! They had sent a team of four to the Festival Event held in Glasgow just a few weeks previously. They knew Shields’ strength.

Piping Hot Start

Lachie McDougall piped out the Shields team who were managed on this auspicious occasion by Iain Morrison. Wednesfield had replaced Bob Bradley with Chris Bates but had also changed the riding order of their 5 to 8 riders. Were they panicking?The first three heats were shared. Corkerhill boys Billy Russell, Stevie Mitchell and Colin Caffrey showed absolutely no signs of nerves, gaining second places in each heat, assisted by their Edinburgh based partners.Heat four brought the first breakthrough when a lightning fast gate by Stewart Potter saw him join John Speirs in the lead coming out of the second bend. This pair was far too experienced to lose such a lead! Shields led 14-10.

Exclusions Galore

There were some controversial stewarding decisions in the next two heats. Four riders were excluded by steward Len Baldwin.  Shields won heat five by 5-0 and Wednesfield gained a 3-2 advantage in the following race. Shields now led 21-13. In heat seven yet another rider, Wednesfield’s Keith Gibbons, was excluded allowing John Tait and Colin Caffrey to score a 5-1and so extend the lead to 26-14. Another jet propelled gate in heat eight gave Stewart Potter and Stevie Mitchell a 5-1 over Joe Williams and Chris Bates. The score was now 31-15 and the championship was well within Shields grasp.

The Aces Fight Back

The experienced John Speirs calmed his riders after Wednesfield took the next two heats 4-2 and 5-1 cutting the lead to 37-27. He pointed out that, with only five heats remaining, they had a huge margin to defend, particularly with the additional benefit of three inside gates. This was to prove correct. In Heat twelve Stewart Potter outgated the previously unbeaten Roger Ellis and led him all the way for a 3-3 draw. Points were again shared in heat thirteen when Chris Pedley was excluded. 43-33 the score, ten points up and three races to go … nearly there … keep calm!


The championship was clinched in the next race when John Tait and Fred Caffrey took a 3-3 . Shields were national champions! For the first time a Glasgow team had won a national championship! Wednesfield gained some respectability with a 5-1 from Roger Ellis and Alan Guest, their best riders, over John Speirs and Colin Caffrey after John was excluded – the ninth exclusion of the afternoon!! Stewart Potter won the nominated race from Wednesfield’s Roger Ellis and Joe Williams. The final score was 50-44. Shields name was added to the National Team Champions list, which included Sighthill Hammers and Ecurie Alba from Edinburgh and Blackley Flyers and Offerton Devils from Manchester.

Bert Harkins presented the trophy to Colin Caffrey, providing an appropriate end to a Glasgow dominated afternoon.


Heat Details

Ht1: Gibbons (W), Mitchell (S), Potter (S), M Pedley (W)   3-3     3-3

Ht2: Williams (W), Russell (S), Baxter (S), Bates (W)         3-3     6-6

Ht3: Ellis (W), C Caffrey (S), Tait (S), McCartney (W)       3-3     9-9

Ht4:Potter (S), Speirs (S) , Gibbons (W), Guest (W)         1-5   10–14

Ht5:Mitchell (S), FCaffrey (S), Williams(W)x, CPedley(W)x  0-5   10–19

Ht6: Ellis (W), Baxter (S), Russell (S) x, Guest (W) x         3-2   13-21

Ht7: Tait (S), CCaffrey (S) ,M Pedley (W), Gibbons (W)x   1-5   14–26

Ht8: Potter (S), Mitchell (S) , Bates (W), Williams (W)      1-5   15–31

Ht9: CPedley (W),Baxter (S),Speirs (S) ,McCartney(W)x    3-3   18-34

Ht10:Guest (W), Russell (S),MPedley (W),FCaffrey (S)x     4-2   22-36

Ht11:CPedley (W), Williams (W),CCaffrey (S),Tait (S)        5-1   27-37

Ht12: Potter (S), Ellis (W), McCartney (W), Mitchell (S)     3-3   30-40

Ht13:Gibbons (W), Baxter (S),Russell (S), MPedley (W)x    3-3   33-43

Ht14: Tait (S), Bates (W), CPedley (W), FCaffrey (S)       3-3    36-46

Ht15: Ellis (W), Guest (W), C Caffrey (S), Speirs (S)x        5-1   41-47

Ht16: Potter (S), Williams (W), Ellis (W), Baxter (S)          3-3   44-50


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