Kiwis in the Overseas Final - 1991
David Bargh won the NZ Final from Chris Martin and Mark Thorpe but none of them lined up at the Commonwealth Final. The two places going instead to Mitch Shirra and Gary Allan.
Despite a nasty first round fall, Mitch got through but Allan was out of his depth. So yet again, NZ had one rep at the Overseas Final staged this year at Odsal, Bradford on June 23.
From there, 9 would qualify to one of the World Championship Semi-Finals in August. And just like the previous round, Mitch put up 7 points to get through with a soaked handkerchief. He only had 2 points at half time! This was a bigger achievement than it looked as this meeting saw the elimination of British Champion Gary Havelock, USA Final winner Rick Miller and World number 3, Todd Wiltshire.
Heat 4. Hamill, Correy, SHIRRA, N Collins.
7. Wiltshire, Screen, Tatum, SHIRRA.
10. Smith, Doncaster, SHIRRA, Adams.
16. SHIRRA, Ermolenko, Doyle, Havelock.
17. Thorp, SHIRRA, Miller, K Moran.
Kelvin Tatum 13. Sam Ermolenko 12. Billy Hamill 12. Andy Smith 11. Paul Thorp 10. Ronnie Correy 9. Jeremy Doncaster 7. MITCH SHIRRA 7. Kelly Moran 7. All qualify.
Todd Wiltshire 6. Glenn Doyle 6. Joe Screen 5. Gary Havelock 4. Leigh Adams 4. Rick Miller 4. Neil Collins 3.
Reserves Chris Louis and Bobby Ott dnr.
"Oh aye, footnote was it?" Mitch rode in the World Championship Semi-Final at Rovno, scored 9 points and safely qualified for the Gothenburg World Final.
This article was first published on 24th February 2018
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