The last 12 months have been full of highs and lows for the district’s sports stars and teams. Adam Lord takes a look back at 2013.
More than 4,000 fans took advantage of free entry for Morecambe’s home game against Dagenham on January 8 and went home happy after Andy Parrish’s 77th-minute goal sealed a come-from-behind 2-1 win.
Morecambe Ladies lost out in the biggest match in their history, going down 2-1 to Coventry City in the third round of the Women’s FA Cup. A 3-0 defeat at home to Exeter is the Shrimps’ first defeat at the Globe Arena in nearly five months. It is a rare blip however as a run of four wins in five ignites talk of a late run at the League 2 play-offs.
Kevin Ellison celebrated signing a new Morecambe contract with a wonder goal in the 3-0 win over Rochdale that all but secured League 2 safety for another year but Shrimps fans are left shocked after a Globe Arena boardroom shake-up sees vice-chairman Graham Hodgson resign after 22 years as a director with Rod Taylor relinquishing the role of chief executive. Lancaster and Morecambe Men’s Hockey team secured successive promotions after a 3-0 win over City of Manchester sealed the North West Division Two title. A 10-9 defeat at Kirkby Lonsdale ended the Vale of Lune’s slim North West One play-off hopes.
In squash, Vale of Lune 1 wrapped up the North West Counties Division Two Central title with a 3-2 win over rivals Preston Grasshoppers. Tyson Fury pulled himself off the canvas to take his professional record to 21-0 with a thrilling seventh-round stoppage of Steve Cunningham at Madison Square Garden. Andy Wright is named The Visitor’s Morecambe FC player of the year with the Shrimps winning 1-0 at Southend on the final day to finish 16th in League 2. Former Newcastle and Blackburn Rovers defender Darren Peacock was named the new head coach of Lancaster City. A 45-24 victory at Altrincham Kersal sees the Vale of Lune finish third in North One West.
Slyne-with-Hest CE Primary School were crowned npower League 2 Kids Cup winners after a 2-1 victory over Minterne Junior School at Wembley. Morecambe got the better of local rivals Lancaster in the TWP Wealth Twenty 20 Cup after Tommy Clough’s six for five from four overs helped them to a seven-wicket win.
John McGuinness moved ever closer to Joey Dunlop’s record 26 wins at the Isle of Man TT with his 20th victory in the 2013 Senior TT. An impressive week also saw the Morecambe Missile seal four more podiums to set a new record of 41. More than 250 school pupils took part in the Lancaster and Heysham Primary Schools Sports Festival at Salt Ayre.
Tyson Fury came face-to-face with David Haye as their £10 million British Heavyweight superfight set for September 28 at the Manchester Arena was announced. More on that one later. Lewis Edge and Vishal Tripathi both made centuries as Morecambe ran out 168 winners against Preston at Woodhill Lane in the same weekend as Lancaster skipper Ben Simm took eight for 24 in their win over Blackpool. Dave Chisnall reached the last eight of the BetVictor World Matchplay in Blackpool before a 16-11 defeat to Michael Van Gerwen. Lancaster topped the medal table after a festival of junior sport, the International Youth Games, took over the district.
Morecambe’s Graham Hicks qualified for his second World’s Strongest Man with an impressive showing at British Giants Live in Gateshead. August was the month of Morecambe’s Capital One Cup exploits live on Sky Sports, the Shrimps defeating Wolves 1-0 before running Newcastle close in a 2-0 loss in front of a record Globe Arena crowd in round two. Mark Woodhead scored 80 as Morecambe ended Lancaster’s slim Northern League title hopes with victory in the district derby at Woodhill Lane.
Dave Chisnall picked up the biggest win of his career after defeating Peter Wright in the final of the German Darts Championships before going onto win the Players Championship in Barnsley six days later. Morecambe Cricket Club had an excellent finish to the season, the firsts finishing in the top four while the seconds lifted the division two title. Tyson Fury’s clash with David Haye is postponed after the two-weight world champion picked up a cut in sparring eight days before the fight. The battle of Britain is rescheduled for February 8 2014 but the story wasn’t over there.
Former world middle and super middleweight champion Steve Collins called out Roy Jones Jnr after returning to the ring in a three-round exhibition at the University of Cumbria. Dave Chisnall reached his first major PDC final but loses 6-0 to Phil Taylor in the final of the PartyPoker.Com World Grand Prix darts.
Heysham Atoms secured third place in the Domino’s Pizza North West Men’s League Division One with a 40-28 win at Wigan Spring View. Mark Hughes was sent off as Morecambe lost for the first time in 10 League 2 games 3-0 at Cheltenham.
Tyson Fury and David Haye’s British heavyweight superfight was called off for good with the former two-weight world champion facing retirement after shoulder reconstruction surgery. Isaac Lowe ended the year 6-0 with a shutout points victory over Kristian Laight in Blackpool on the same night Bentham’s Tomi Tatham tasted defeat for the first time in his professional career. Vale of Lune’s Nick Royle ended the year in excellent form including scoring four tries in the 59-17 victory over Altrincham Kersal. Dave Chisnall made it a hat-trick of ProTour victories in 2013 with Players Championship win in Barnsley.
Morecambe Cricket Club secured a £50,000 grant for work on drainage at their Woodhill Lane home, something which has blighted their progress in recent years. Dave Chisnall ended the year on a disappointing note, exiting the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship at the first hurdle with defeat to John Henderson.