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. Lancaster City on the other hand drew 2-2 with Clitheroe and were firmly in midtable in the Evo-Stik First Division North at the start of 2013.
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. Lancaster City’s joint managers Neil Wainwright and Michael Stringfellow resigned after seeing their budget cut, leaving the Dolly Blues 11th in the table.
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. Bentham boxer Tomi Tatham remained undefeated as a professional with a second-round stoppage of Mitch Mitchell in Bolton. 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. Morecambe won 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. Peacock begins his Lancaster City reign with a 1-0 defeat at Salford City on the final day of the Evo-Stik First Division North season. Galgate FC celebrated their 125th anniversary with a visit from a Football League veterans XI that included Jim Bentley, Neil Wainwright and Michael Stringfellow.
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. Ex-Morecambe midfielder Garry Hunter landed at Lancaster City after a disappointing year with Barrow as former Dolly Blues skipper Alex Kenyon joined the Shrimps. Lancaster Cricket Club captain Ben Simm took eight for 24 in their win over Blackpool. 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. It was still an excellent season for Simm’s side however who secured their first top-three finish in more than 20 years.
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. 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.
Lancaster City lost for the first time this season as Curzon Ashton won 2-1 at Giant Axe in their FA Cup replay at the start of the month. 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 lost 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.
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. Morecambe’s Westgate Warrior 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. Striker Jordan Connerton, who left Lancaster City for Crewe Alexandra in a £30,000 plus deal in 2010, returned to Giant Axe from Kendal Town.
It’s still all to play for ahead of the final round of the British Water Polo League’s Super Fives early next year after a mixed weekend for Lancaster at Salt Ayre Sports Centre earlier this month. The city team beat Bristol 15–8 on Saturday before a 15-12 loss at the hands of Cheltenham the following day in the third weekend of four. Heysham High School pupil Georgia Hannam is crowned British Biathlon Champion after victory in Solihull. Dave Chisnall ended the year on a disappointing note, exiting the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship at the first hurdle with defeat to John Henderson.