A memorable sporting year

Laura Weightman won a bronze medal at the European Championships in August.
Laura Weightman won a bronze medal at the European Championships in August.
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A look-back at some of the sporting highlights from 2014.

JANUARY

The FA Cup came to Longhoughton Rangers in November.

The FA Cup came to Longhoughton Rangers in November.

Teenage rugby star Jake Woods earned his first call-up to England’s Youth Squad, while Tom Davidson was called up to the British Colleges Sport England U19 squad.

Alnwick Rugby Club’s flag was flown at half-mast and there was a minute’s silence in memory of club stalwart Bob Bingham.

Active Northumberland was awarded a Lottery grant worth more than £94,000.

FA Women’s Super League (WSL) players Lucy Bronze and Lucy Staniforth trained girls from Longhoughton Rangers’ U14s.

This picture of Dan Palmer sparked a crazy response on Twitter.

This picture of Dan Palmer sparked a crazy response on Twitter.

Alnwick’s Jonathyn Quinn scored a hat-rick for Newcastle United’s development side, in the Toon’s 4-0 FA Youth Cup success against arch-rivals Sunderland.

The Embleton and District Darts League experimented with a new knockout competition format.

FEBRUARY

A group of young people competed in a triathlon in memory of two Amble fishermen, Mark Arries and Edward Ide. Money was raised for the town’s RNLI in the process.

A £1,000 grant was given to Alnwick Age Concern Indoor Bowling Club to buy a three-mat handling unit.

A team from the Duchess’s Community High School were crowned U15s knockout cricket champions.

Lucy Staniforth signed for Liverpool Ladies.

Laura Weightman smashed the course record and helped Morpeth Harriers to a second-placed finish at the North East Counties Road Relay Championships.

Triple-jumper Emma Pringle won silver at the BUCS Gatorade Nationals.

Jo Gascoigne-Owens won the Gazette’s Sports Personality of the Year for 2013.

Chrys Murphy won the Borders Cross-country senior veterans title for the second year in a row. He set a record by winning all six races in his group to win the title outright.

MARCH

Rugby players and siblings, Jessica and Annabelle Young, were selected for the North of England. Jessica, a former High School prom queen, was called up for the U18 squad, while younger sister and part-time model Annabelle was selected for the U15s.

Alnwick Colts beat Morpeth to win the first Nathan Thomas Moore Memorial Cup. The Colts were also crowned league champions.

Lucy Staniforth sustained anterior cruciate ligament damage in training, weeks after signing for Liverpool.

Tributes were paid to grass-roots football stalwart Ron Falkous. Amble Tavern FC took part in a minute’s applause in his memory.

North East Trap won Morpeth Sunday League Division Two.

Alnwick Cricket Club scored cash to overhaul its practice facilities.

Sixty-nine-year-old Jean Findlay swam 2.5k, complete with tumble-turns, in aid of Sport Relief.

Finn Gavin was part of a four-man team to win gold in the 11-16 age category at the British Acrobatic Gymnastic Championships.

APRIL

British Amateur champion Garrick Porteous won the Georgia Cup. He defeated US Amateur Champion Matthew Fitzpatrick to clinch the trophy.

He then competed in The Masters, at Augusta. He missed the cut, but took many positives from the experience. He also made his professional debut at the Maybank Malaysian Open.

Lucy Bronze won the Professional Footballers’ Association Women’s Player of the Year.

In the North Northumberland League, Amble St Cuthbert’s beat Wansbeck AFC to lift the Runciman Cup, while Shilbottle defeated Tweedmouth Rangers in the Anderson Cup Final.

In the Morpeth Sunday League, HMP Northumberland lost to Morpeth Shambles in the Bill Reveley Cup.

Alnwick Rugby Club secured their North One East status on the final day of the season with a losing bonus point against Middlesbrough, who were relegated in the process. Alnwick Colts lost to Morpeth in the County Cup Final.

North Northumberland Amateur Boxing Club held a fight night in Alnwick. There was a win for Callum Fenwick, who dedicated his first victory to his ill grandmother.

Fencer Alex Sleet was ranked top in the North East.

MAY

Sam Courty made her senior GB Rowing Team debut at the Windermere Cup, in the USA. The GB team were narrowly defeated by the University of Washington women’s crew.

Alnwick Harriers’ annual Les Allcorn 10k was won by Seahouses-based Morpeth Harrier Carl Avery. The women’s race was won by Alnwick Harrier Ella Brown. Home-club runner Amy Thorne won the girls’ race. Two of Les Allcorn’s grandchildren ran the race for the first time and wore memorial T-shirts.

Morpeth Harrier Ian Harding won the Druridge Bay 10k. Alnwick Harrier Jo-Gascogine Owens retained her women’s crown.

Laura Weightman ran a 4:02.72 pb at the Diamond League’s Eugene meeting.

Alnwick Rugby Club players were named on the team sheet for the National U20 Championship Final at Twickenham. Richard Elliott and Aston Whitlow played for the victorious Northumberland side, while Jamie Guy represented Yorkshire.

Luke James was crowned Hartlepool United’s Supporters’ Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year.

The long-standing Morpeth Sunday League made an appeal for more teams.

Shilbottle CW beat Duns FC in the Laidler/Lancaster Cup Final. It came on the back of the Berwick Charities Cup, Stephen Carey Memorial Trophy, the Anderson Cup and the North Northumberland Football League Division One championship.

Amble St Cuthbert’s lifted the Bilclough Cup, beating Tweedmouth Rangers. Amble Tavern defeated Bedlington Barrington Arms in the Morpeth Sunday League’s ES Johnson Challenge Cup.

The Alnwick and District Cricket League, founded in 1889 and said to be the oldest cricket league in Northumberland, folded due to a lack of teams. Its name has lived on, being incorporated into the restructured Northumberland League.

Stuart Imeson, head greenkeeper at Dunstanburgh Castle Golf Club, and his deputy James Thorpe, plus Northumberland Golf Club’s Grant Burton, helped tend the turf at the PGA Championships.

Rothbury registered their first league victory of the season in the North Northumberland Matchplay League A Division and dedicated it to the late Jack Phillips who was a life-long golf-club member.

Plans were drawn up to start a boxing club in Wooler.

The British Orienteering Championships was staged in Northumberland.

JUNE

Druridge Bay would be added to the weekly 5k parkrun series.

Attendance at the Belsay Horse Trials was up by 30 per cent.

The under-threat Morpeth Sunday league was given a stay of execution after teams registered an interest.

Josh Rutherford won the North East Coach of the Year in the FA Community Awards.

Lucy Bronze scored her first England goal in the 3-0 victory against Belarus.

Carl Avery was world champ in the 25-29 age group in the sprint duathlon at the 2014 Pontevedra ITU Duathlon World Championships. It was his first major event representing Great Britain.

Laura Weightman won the 1500m title at the British Championships.

Triple-jumper Emma Pringle won gold at the England Athletics U23 & U20 Championships and World Trials. She then battled illness to finish seventh at the British Championships.

Alnwick Tri Club members James Bolam, Tracey Sample, Lisa Williams, Denise Drummond and Sue Bolam competed in the European Sprint Triathlon Championships, in Austria.

Alnmouth (Foxton) were crowned Northumberland County club champions for the first time in 25 years.

Garrick Porteous won the PGA EuroPro Tour FSC Invitational. It was his first professional title.

Record numbers turned out for the Run Northumberland Bamburgh 10k.

Members/supporters from Rock Cricket Club completed a fund-raising relay.

Calum Bickerton took six wickets in six balls for Tillside U15s.

July

Our 1500m runner Laura Weightman set a 4:00.17 personal best at the Diamond League meeting in Paris. The best was still to come though, when she won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow at the end of the month.

Sophie Bronze was selected to represent the North East at the 2014 Sainsbury’s School Games. She was chosen for the pole vault.

Sunderland Harrier Kevin Jeffress won Alnwick Harriers’ flagship event, the Northumberland Coastal Run. There was drama though, as Morpeth Harrier and first-place finisher Carl Avery was disqualified for racing with somebody else’s number.

Jake Storey, of Alnmouth (Foxton) Golf Club, won the County Championship with a 4&3 victory over Jonny Richardson, of Hexham.

Alnmouth (Foxton) clinched the North Northumberland League double, winning both the A and B Divisions.

A golf day by Alnwick Rotary Club raised nearly £7,000 for a range of good causes.

Alnwick Rugby Club received a Lead Up & Legacy Transforming Social Spaces Grant to enhance its social facilities and bolster participation in the sport.

Gymnast Finn Gavin was part of a four-strong team to win gold in the men’s 11-16 age category at the FIG Acrobatic Gymnastics World Age Group Competitions, in Paris.

Alnmouth & Lesbury CC U13s won the ECB County Cup Final, by beating Corbridge.

Rower Sam Courty secured her first U23 Great Britain call-up for the women’s eight at the U23 World Rowing Championships. The team won a silver medal.

Amble Ladies’ secretary Dorothy Martin, and Mary McNally, senior vice-president of Northumberland Ladies Bowls, qualified to play in the Bowls England Nationals at Royal Leamington Spa.

Sylvia Dale and Carol Hume, from Alnwick Bowling Club, won the County Pairs Championships and went through to the nationals at Leamington Spa.

The Burgham Horse Trials were hailed a huge success.

august

Steph Courty and Suzie Barwise-Munro inspired the UK to victory in a major international tetrathlon competition. Team skipper Steph also won the individual title, while Suzie came second.

North Northumberland Pony Club member Annabelle Blythe competed at the Pony Club National Championships. Annabelle and her horse finished in fourth place, just eight seconds behind the first-placed rider.

Alnwick Town scored vital support to replace £3,000-worth of kit which was mistakenly thrown out.

Alnwick Town Juniors player Lucas Thornbury was presented with the Hugh Philipson Award. The namesake trophy was in honour of the late club stalwart.

The winners of the NatWest Northumberland OSCAs (Outstanding Service to Cricket Awards) for 2014 were announced. Warkworth CC’s Ian Gray received the lifetime achiever prize, Amanda Hindmarsh, of Tillside CC, won the NatWest CricketForce award, Alnwick CC’s Gavin Turnbull was recognised for his behind-the-scenes work while Thomas Parkinson, from Rock, won the building partnerships accolade.

Alnwick Cricket Club stalwart Allen Thompson called an end to his playing career, which spanned more than six decades.

Morpeth Harrier Ian Harding won the first race of the new Druridge Bay parkrun series. More than 200 runners lined up for the debut run.

Laura Weightman followed up her Commonwealth Games silver medal with a bronze at the European Championships in Zurich, Switzerland.

Alnwick Bowls Club’s Ray Topping beat Alan Tait to become Men’s Champion in the Duke’s Medal. It made a husband-and-wife double, after Ray’s wife Dorothy beat Carol Hume to become the Ladies Champion in the Alder Cup, one month earlier.

Rothbury Bowling Club won the North Northumberland Bowls League.

Jake Woods scored the first try in England Youth Squad’s convincing victory over Wales.

september

Luke James scored on his Peterborough United debut, after making a deadline-day move to the Posh from Hartlepool United.

Jack Hale, from Rothbury Wrestling Academy, came second in the Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling 15-stone world championship.Alnmouth & Lesbury CC IIs won the Northumberland and Tyneside Senior Cricket League Division B2.

Alnwick U11s junior cricket team won the Northumberland U11 League Cup. The side remained unbeaten throughout the season.

A fly-fishing competition organised by Lucy Bowden raised more than £4,000 for Fishing For Heroes.

Rothbury won the North Northumberland Junior Golf League for the first time in 17 years.

Alnwick Rugby Club’s Frank Hutchinson marked his 100th league game for the club.

Helen Waugh qualified for the Ironman 70.3 Triathlon World Championships in Austria in 2015.

Paul Williams and Anne Marie Potts took the titles at the Amble Darts Open, which attracted a record number of competitors.

october

Alnwick Tri Juniors received more than £10,000 investment from two sporting bodies. Ceri Rees scored a hat-trick of Kielder Marathon wins.

Alnwick Town reached the second round proper of the FA Vase for the first time since the 1975/76 season.

Lucy Bronze scored in Liverpool Ladies’ final-day-of-the-season victory as the Reds clinched the FA Women’s Super League title in dramatic fashion. The Merseysiders went on to parade the trophy and Bronze was voted as Liverpool Ladies’ player of the season, carried out by @LFCladiesfans.

Coquet Yacht Club received two grants to help it increase opportunities in the sport.

Disabled people in the county were set for more sporting opportunities after a £127,000 boost from Active Northumberland.

Boxer Cyrus Pattinson did his chances of an England call-up no harm by beating Corporal Matt Wells, including a second-round knock down.

New floodlighting was installed at Longframlington’s all-weather pitch, giving residents greater use of the facility.

november

The FA Cup came to Longhoughton Rangers, giving youngsters the chance to have their photo taken beside the famous trophy.

Lucy Bronze signed for Manchester City Women from Liverpool Ladies. The defender also played in front of a 45,000 crowd at Wembley.

Alnwick Town were knocked out of the second round of the FA Vase. Dedicated ground-hopper John Stancombe, who is registered blind, made his way from Suffolk to Alnwick for the clash.

Chatton Trout Fishery hosted the 2014 International Bank Fly Fishing Championship, which was won by Ireland.

Amble-based motorcycle team Banks Racing took a haul of trophies in the British Motostar Championship 2014, which included the team prize. Their 22-year-old rider Ed Rendell won the championship title and was also named Champion of Champions.

Alnwick Tri Club’s Millie Breese, Ross Charlton, Amy Thorne, Tracey Sample, Kate Lawson, James Bolam and Marie Drozdowicz were awarded at the Triathlon England North East Region Awards.

Laura Weightman was selected for crucial funding, which is given to athletes who have the ability to win medals at the 2016 Olympic Games.

december

Flight Lieutenant Mark Buckley, from RAF Boulmer, won the Royal Air Force Sports Official award for his refereeing contribution to lacrosse.

Nathan Buddle helped Blyth Spartans beat Hartlepool United in the second round of the FA Cup. The Croft Park side drew Birmingham City in the third round.

A goalkeeping course, set up in memory of legendary Port Vale keeper Ray King, was hailed a success.

Young footballers from Seahouses tasted cup-final victory in the Glendale League. Seahouses Thunder took the crown at the U10 Autumn Festival while the U8s won their respective competition.

Percy Wood Golf Club teed up more than £2,000 to help a 12-year-old girl with locked-in syndrome.