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The Golden Hammer - 1979
By Tracy Holmes and Steve Baker

1979. July 25. It was Hammer time and this meeting hit all the right notes, including a dead heat between Bruce Penhall and Mike Lee in heat 2. And the 'ifs & buts' heartbreak stories. Penhall, if had he not suffered engine failure while leading the run to the flag in heat 15, would have taken the Trophy. But, being as he did, Hans Nielsen, if he had not reared up while leading Bobby Schwartz in Heat 19, allowing the Cradley Star to get by, he would have taken the Trophy. But, he got a second shot as he tied with Schwartz on 13 points.

However, as he had done all night, the Young American proving he was no hustler before an ecstatic home crowd. Mike Lee was penalized 20 yards for a tape offence in heat 9. The same applied to the lone Kiwi, LARRY ROSS in heat 10. But another ten points saw him again playing with the big boys. Sparing a thought for Doug Wyer who started under an injury cloud, having to retire from his first ride and unable to continue. But a brave effort indeed. To wind up a brilliant night for the Cradley fans, home star Phil Collins joined his team-mate Schwartz on the podium.

Heat 1. ROSS, Phil Collins, Schwartz, Peter Collins.
Heat 2. dead heat. Lee/Penhall, Johns, Praestbro.
Heat 3. Michanek, Andy Grahame, Davis, Hunter.
Heat 4. Nielsen, Jessup. Wyer nf. Alan Grahame f/ex
Heat 5. Nielsen, Penhall, Phil Collins, Davis.
Heat 6. ROSS, Andy Grahame, Lee, Hack.
Heat 7. Schwartz, Michanek, Alan Grahame, Johns.
Heat 8. Peter Collins, Jessup, Hunter, Praestbro.
Heat 9. Phil Collins, Jessup, Michanek, Lee.
Heat 10. Penhall, Alan Grahame, Hunter, ROSS.
Heat 11. Schwartz, Praestbro, Davis, Hack.
Heat 12. Andy Grahame, Nielsen, Johns, Peter Collins.
Heat 13. Phil Collins, Johns, Hunter, Hack.
Heat 14. Nielsen, ROSS, Praestbro, Michanek.
Heat 15. Schwartz, Jessup, Penhall, Andy Grahame.
Heat 16. Lee, Peter Collins, Davis, Alan Grahame.
Heat 17. Phil Collins, Andy Grahame, Alan Grahame, Praestbro.
Heat 18. Jessup, ROSS, Davis, Johns.
Heat 19. Schwartz, Nielsen, Lee. Hunter ef
Heat 20. Penhall, Michanek, Peter Collins. Hack fall
Run-off. Schwartz, Nielsen.

Bobby Schwartz 13. Hans Nielsen 13. Phil Collins 12. Bruce Penhall 11.5, Dave Jessup 11. LARRY ROSS 10. Andy Grahame 9. Anders Michanek 8. Mike Lee 7.5, Peter Collins 6. John Davis 4. Alan Grahame 4. Roger Johns 4. Res George Hunter 3. Kristian Praestbro 3. Doug Wyer 0. Res John Hack 0. Scott Autrey ns. Gordon Kennett ns.


This article was first published on 27th February 2022

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