Wolverhampton Speedway 1992/3
1992 started in a similar vein, with Wolves being unbeaten in their first 17 official meetings. What changed that was the injury to Wayne Carter, sustained in a road accident. Without Wayneâ€™s occasional match-winning performances at reserve Wolves didnâ€™t look quite the same team. Eventually Wolves finished fifth, although they scored the same number of match points as the team in second!
Wolves fans werenâ€™t too disappointed. After all, the team won two major honours in the Premiership (against Bradford) and the Gold Cup, after a fantastic last-heat decider against Reading.
Mention 1993 to Wolves fans and you are likely to reduce grown men to tears. A controversial eight-man team formula, over eighteen heats with two juniors in each side, was not popular with supporters and undoubtedly the entertainment value of the season was reduced. Never-the-less, Wolves topped the table from the outset, and by the end of August Sam Ermolenkoâ€™s World Title win looked set to pave the way to league honours, with the team thirteen points ahead in the championship. The only black spot was a back injury to Graham Jones, which would surely be enough to keep him out for the season.
Wolves lost at Poole on September 1, a meeting in which Charles Ermolenko sustained a broken collar-bone, which would keep him out for the season. The following evening, Ronnie Correy crashed in Sweden, picking up serious back injuries. The by now decimated Wolves side lost at home controversially to Ipswich and, all of a sudden, the season was on the skids. Phil Ashcroft was the next injury victim, after a bad smash at Arena-Essex, and as a result of the growing injury list Wolves drafted in fansâ€™ favourite Gordon Kennett, Peter Karlssonâ€™s younger brother Mikael, and John Wainwright.
When Wolves, without the ill Kennett, won at Coventry on October 9, it looked like the title was still heading Monmore way. Unfortunately, Sam Ermolenko broke his leg in an innocuous-looking fall against Bradford and it all pointed to a championship decider against Belle Vue at Monmore Green on October 25.
Wolves were eight points up with four races remaining. Incredibly, the Aces clawed the deficit back and were one point up going into the last race. When Bobby Ott beat Wolves guest Henrik Gustafsson, whose spirited contribution will always be remembered by Monmore fans, the match, and title race was over with the league championship in Belle Vueâ€™s hands.Wolves fans could only reflect on what might have been if injuries had not taken their toll. Bright spots for Wolves were the superb seasons had by the Karlsson brothers and the dominant form showed by Sam Ermolenko, although many fans would question Neil Evittsâ€™ contribution to the season. One thing worthy of a mention is that the club was sponsored by Hi-Q Tyreservices - a sponsorship which has lasted for the next seven seasons.
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