What an amazing 2012


Shaun Davies

HAS there ever been a better year for British sport than 2012?

From the successful Olympic Games, to Chelsea winning the Champions League and not forgetting the Miracle of Medinah, it has been a year of highlights.

Local sporting figures have been asked to come up with their favourite moments of 2012 - and their hopes for the year ahead.

Denbigh Town manager Richard Williams-Cooke said: “The best sporting moment for me would have to be Usain Bolt winning three gold medals at this years Olympics to complete the double triple in consecutive Olympics.

“People had started to doubt him and question whether he was still the best and like a true champion he silenced his critics by winning all three quite comfortably.

“A close second is Jade Jones winning gold in the taekwondo - she did North Wales proud.”

Williams-Cooke believes the right person in Bradley Wiggins won the Sports Personality of the Year prize.

“Is there a more physically demanding competition than the Tour de France?

“It was good to see his sense of humour in his winning speech too!”

As for his 2013 hopes, the Denbigh boss added: “Denbigh Town FC win the league and gain promotion back to the Cymru Alliance and that Ruthin Town also stay there - so we can bring back the local derbies of old!”

In an historic year for cycling, Jon Harland had plenty of highlights to consider.

The Rhyl Cycling Club chairman said that Bradley Wiggins' historic Tour de France win was the highlight of 2012 - and Wiggins was the right choice as Sports Personality.

Looking ahead to 2013, Harland said: “(I hope) that a British rider wins the Tour de France, a Welsh rider (Geraint Thomas) wins a Spring Classic, and more North Wales youth and junior riders put on the Welsh national jersey in UK and foreign events.”

It was also a memorable year as far as Llangollen Town manager Gareth Lloyd was concerned.

“My best sporting moment was  watching Jessica Ennis compete in the London 2012,” he said.

“What a talented and fit athlete! Only England departing Euro 2012 in the usual fashion came close to her!”

Lloyd felt that another athlete should have walked away with the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year prize.

“Mo Farah for Sports Personality of the Year - to achieve what he did in such energy sapping disciplines in such a short space of time was phenomenal.”

Looking into his crystal ball for the forthcoming year, Lloyd added: I would love to see Llangollen Town FC back in the Cymru Alliance for season 2013-14. It’s going to take some run to achieve, but why not?!

“Combine that with seeing Everton qualify for group stages of the Champions League and it will be Annus Memorablis!”

Ruthin Hockey Club’s Sally Conyers said: “(The) best sporting moment for me was Jessica Ennis winning the heptathlon in the Olympics - there was a lot of pressure and she really performed.

“Also Wales winning the Grand Slam in the Six Nations was fantastic and the women's hockey at the Olympics was amazing - brilliant to see that level of hockey being televised and Team GB taking the bronze!”

She believed that Leigh Halfpenny or Ennis should have claimed the Sports Personality award, with some silverware for Ruthin Hockey Club in the next few months is her wish.

On the hopes for 2013, she said: “Ruthin Ladies Hockey Club to continue their winning streak and to win the league, cup and shield!

“But to win any of those would be excellent.

“(Also) for the Welsh rugby team to prove the critics wrong after the disappointing autumn test series and to win the Six Nations again!”

Corwen FC secretary Huw Jones says that the 2-1 win over Ruthin Town in the Welsh Cup is the club highlight of the year, while the gold medal performances of Jade Jones and Mo Farah are his Olympic highlights.

Jones backed the public decision to give Wiggins the Sports Personality award and on his hopes for 2013, he said: “(It) has to be Wrexham gaining promotion back to the Football League.”

Denbigh Town Sharks’ U-14s manager Matty Macdonald couldn’t choose just one moment from what he described as “a great year of sports”.

“There were a few sporting moments for me in 2012.

“Being a QPR fan, the Man City v QPR game at the end of the Premiership, I was gutted to lose it in the last minute!

“But staying in the Premiership is great.

“The Ryder cup comeback, maybe, but for me it was that Saturday night of the Olympics, with Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah winning golds. It was just brilliant.

“On a personal note, getting to the cup final with Denbigh sharks (was a highlight).

“Prestatyn thought they only had to turn up to win (but) we went 2-0 up and lost on penalties.

“It gave the whole team the belief that we can compete with the best teams in our league and its showing in our performances so far this season.”

As for his 2013 aspirations, Macdonald added: “QPR to stay in Premiership. C'mon 'Arry!

“And Denbigh Sharks to finish in the top-four of our league and to reach another cup final... and for Daniel, my son, to score the winner!”

See full story in the Free Press

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