Wolverhampton Speedway - 1996
The Premier League format was retained in 1996, and it was clear out time at Wolverhampton. Surprisingly, Sam Ermolenko was released to join Sheffield, Colin White sat the season out, Stephen Morris had retired, Wayne Carter joined Middlesbrough and Jacob Olsen stayed in Denmark. Only Peter Karlsson remained from the seven riders who started the 1995 season.
In came prodigal son Ronnie Correy, Mikael Karlsson, Scotsmen James Grieves and Stewart McDonald, Czech George Stancl and Craig Taylor was promoted from the junior ranks into the senior team. The net result of these changeovers was a winning team, and Wolves waltzed away with the title after a string of sensational away performances and an unbeaten home record, as well as claiming every aggregate point on offer.
What remained was the honour which had always evaded Wolves - the Knock Out Cup. A sensational defeat of Belle Vue in a thrilling replay lined cup specialists Bradford up in the semi-final. When Wolves easily disposed of the Dukes, a final against league runners-up Peterborough was unveiled.
There was one problem - Monmore Green was being redeveloped to accommodate a new greyhound circuit. This meant that Wolves were forced to run the home leg at Long Eaton - a track more like Peterborough in shape and size than Wolverhampton. Any supportersâ€™ fears were swiftly disposed of as Wolves shot to a twenty-two point victory in the first leg at Station Road.
All Wolves had to do was to keep their nerve in the
away leg. An inspired Ronnie
Correy defeat of home number one Jason Crump set the scene, and after
eight races Wolves were level on the night, and still twenty-two up on
aggregate. Although the
Panthers pulled some of the deficit back in the subsequent heats, it
wasnâ€™t enough and Wolves claimed their first ever Knock Out Cup victory.