{short description of image} International SPEEDWAY {short description of image}


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After a terrible year in the National league of 1958 (they won only 1 match), Ipswich competed in the Southern Area League in 1959 (and finished bottom of the league again!).
But they were given permission to stage some "international" matches. They were unofficial, of course - indeed, they were SO unofficial that country names were not allowed to be used.
So Ipswich used no names at all!
On the front covers of the programmes were the flags of the competing nations.
And in the scorechart, the matches were referred to as ? v. ? - with spaces for the spectators to fill in the country names!
There were four of these internationals, and the details were as follows:
{short description of image} Match 1- 25.06 1959
The programme cover (left) depicts the flags of Australia and Sweden. However, the "Australia" team included Ron Johnston, of New Zealand, so the team should be "Australasia".
Schirmer (riding at reserve for Sweden) was an Australian junior rider, and a member of the Ipswich Southern Area League team.
Australasia 46
Jack Geran (Aus) 11-1-5
Peter Moore (Aus) 9-0-5
Aub Lawson (Aus) 6-1-5
Jack Biggs (Aus) 6-0-5
Ron Johnston (NZ) 5-2-4
Ray Cresp (Aus) 5-1-4
Johnnie Chamberlain(Aus) 4-1-4
Sweden 50
Ove Fundin (Swe) 15-0-5
Rune Sörmander (Swe) 14-0-5
Göran Norlén (Swe) 7-1-5
Kjell Wårenius (Swe) 6-1-5
Shorty Schirmer (Aus) 3-1-3
Bengt Brannefors (Swe) 3-0-4
Hans Hallberg (Swe) 2-1-5
Match 2 - 02.07 1959
If you are wondering what the lower flag is meant to signify in the programme on the right, then fortunately this is the only one of the four programmes to carry team names inside the programme - Swedish Aces v. The Rest
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Swedish Aces 59
Ove Fundin 15-0-5
Bjorn Knutsson 12-0-5
Göran Norlén 10-2-5
Rune Sörmander 10-0-5
Hans Hallberg 7-1-5
Kjell Wårenius 4-1-4
Bengt Brannefors 1-0-3
The Rest 37
Nigel Boocock (Eng) 12-1-6
Geoff Mardon (NZ) 10-0-6
Johnnie Chamberlain(Aus) 5-1-6
Reg Trott (Eng) 4-1-4
Ray Cresp (Aus) 4-0-5
Phil Clarke (Eng) 2-0-5
Harry Edwards (Eng) did not ride
{short description of image} Match 3 - 18.06 1959
Well, this spectator managed to name the teams correctly (see below)
(OK, the Union Flag represents Great Britain, but the national speedway team was always known as England until 1961 - even when it included a Scot). Lawson and Schirmer, in the Sweden team, were late replacements for Bjorn Knutsson and Birger Forsberg.
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England 47
Cyril Roger (Eng) 13-0-5
George White (Eng) 12-0-5
Billy Bales (Eng) 7-2-5
Cyril Brine (Eng) 5-3-5
Phil Clarke (Eng) 4-2-5
Ken McKinlay (Scot) 4-1-5
Gerald Jackson (Eng) 2-1-2
Sweden 49
Ove Fundin (Swe) 15-0-5
Rune Sörmander (Swe) 13-0-5
Kjell Wårenius (Swe) 8-0-5
Aub Lawson (Aus) 7-2-5
Bengt Brannefors (Swe) 4-1-5
Göran Norlén (Swe) 2-1-5
Shorty Schirmer (Aus) 0-0-2
Match 4 - 23.07 1959

Unlike the previous matches, which were run over 16 heats, this match used the "classic" 18 heat Test match race formula, though with the use of tactical substitutes.
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Australia 43
Peter Moore 21-0-7
Jack Geran 12-0-7
Aub Lawson 9-0-6
Chum Taylor 1-0-3
Jack Scott 0-0-5
Johnnie Chamberlain 0-0-4
Graham Warren 0-0-2
Charlie Wallis 0-0-2
England 64
Ron Mountford 14-2-6
George White 14-0-6
Nigel Boocock 11-3-6
Les McGillivray 8-2-5
Mike Broadbank 8-0-4
Bryan Elliott 5-3-5
Phil Clarke 4-2-4

Since 1928, when women such as Fay Taylour, Eva Askwith, and Dot Cowley graced the dirt tracks, there have been several female riders. But none have ridden in a Test Match at senior level. At junior (under-21) level, however, Denmark has tracked two lady riders.
The first was Maria Moberg, who scored 2 points from 3 rides when riding for Denmark U-21 against Sweden at Gothenberg on 18.06 2000.
But the best known was Sabrina Bogh who rode in all four matches of Denmark Under-21's series against Sweden Under-21 in June and July of 2001. She scored a total of 8 points plus 2 bonus points from 15 rides. Then in August 2001, Sabrina won the Denmark Under-21 Individual Championship at Holsted with a 15-point maximum.
Contributors : Roger Stevens
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© Brian Collins