England v Australasia 1972 - 2nd Division Test Series - Part 1
Australasia took a knock before the series began when Sydney's Jim Ryman was injured and unable to take part. The Poms were certainly favourites to take the series, how did they do ?
Teeside was the venue for the 1st Test on August 17 and this is how Derek Healey reported it for 'Speedway Star'.
"Terrific riding, a last heat decider, a smashed track record and thrills and spills galore. This was speedway at it's very best, with Phil Crump giving a highly polished performance and Jack Millen and England skipper Malcolm Ballard giving the big crowd plenty to shout about. The Teeside track record was smashed in the first heat when Crump lopped a massive 1.2 seconds off the 4 year old target. Heat 2 took three starts before a result was found, first Arthur Browning then Roger Wright picking up too much drive on the same bend and being excluded. Wright was out of the meeting with a knee injury. Malcolm Ballard was superb for England, his heat 6 battle with Jack Millen a magnificent piece of riding while Dave Durham and John Jackson gave good support."
This report from the Australasian team manager Peter White;
"The loss of Roger Wright was a blow as he was expected to land at least double figures on his home circuit. Millen was involved in several incidents with the opposition and anyone who managed to take a point from him certainly did it the hard way. His clashes with Malcolm Ballard were particularly hard in the toughest traditions of speedway."
See how the pairing of Phil Crump and Graeme Smith was lethal! More from Peter White,
"England may possibly have been a little more dangerous if reserve Arthur Price had been called in more often but from a disastrous start, the boys from Down Under thoroughly deserved their fighting win. The sheer will to win of the Anzacs was overwhelming!"
Heat 1. Crump, Ballard, Smith, Childs.
Phil Crump 18. Jack Millen 14. Graeme Smith 10. Lou Sansom 8. Dave Mills 3. Robin Amundson 2. Gary Flood 0. Roger Wright 0. Jim Ryman injured no start.
Malcolm Ballard 14. Dave Durham 10. John Jackson 8. Tony Childs 5. Arthur Browning 5. Richard Greer 5. Arthur Price 3. Frank Aufrett 1.
This article was first published on 26th November 2018
"Good article - remember the meeting well. Just one thing - 2 s's in Teesside, not 1!!"
"As an 8yr old at the time, I remember the second test in this series at Rayleigh, featuring then Rockets Allen Emmett, Trevor Barnwell, Brian Foote and Bob Young, plus ex-Rocket Graeme Smith. Jack Millen was also in the Australasia team - he was the most feared visitor there !! "
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