A look back on the first six months of an eventful sporting year...
DARTS: MARKET Deeping maestro Martin Adams roared to an historic second BDO Lakeside World Darts Championship win.
“Wolfie” saw off unseeded Englishman Dave Chisnall to triumph 7-5 in what proved to be a 139-minute Frimley Green thriller. The win saw Adams become only the seventh man in history to be crowned a multiple winner of the event.
Adams, who was making a record-breaking 17th successive appearance at the event, also trousered a mammoth prize kitty of £100,000.
CRICKET: BOURNE Cricket Club legend David Christmas was forced to step down as captain because of a nasty knee injury.
The talismanic all-rounder was skipper at the Abbey Lawn for a total of 14 years over two spells.
Christmas said that he hoped to continue playing for his beloved Bourne, but on a much more limited basis.
POOL: AFTER going a massive 59 league games and 37 long months unbeaten, Woadman’s Arms finally lost a Holbeach and District League game.
Parkside A were the team good enough to take the lucrative scalp of the all-conquering champions (5-4).
HOCKEY: TALENTED Jonny Bryan was to bid “arrivederci” to Long Sutton Hockey Club – after receiving a lucrative offer from Italy.
The goalscoring midfielder was to join Paolo Bonomi, a club based 30 miles outside of Milan.
Bryan, who was signed as striker, was to be provided with an apartment and a £440 monthly wage.
DARTS: MARTIN Adams added another title to his glittering CV as he won the Dutch Open for the first time.
Four weeks after landing the world title for a second time, Market Deeping’s “Wolfie” beat Scott Waites to bag Holland’s top darting crown.
FOOTBALL: SPALDING United manager Richard Scott was set for a showdown with his players after a demoralising defeat to the only team below them in UniBond League First Division South.
Willenhall Town beat the Tulips 1-0 to keep Scott’s men deep in the relegation mire.
A frustrated Scott said: “It’s the same old story really.
“I intend to speak to the players at training and I think a few of them need to be told a few home truths.”
FOOTBALL: SPALDING Sunday League side Magnet Tavern booked an FA Sunday Cup final date at Anfield by beating Birstall Stamford 2-1.
A double from Miles Hunter helped John Chand’s underdogs come from behind to slay the Leicestershire giants.
Chand’s men were to face favourites Hetton Lyons in the final, but eventually lost 4-2.
FOOTBALL: SEEMINGLY doomed Spalding United were handed a UniBond League First Division South lifeline.
The Tulips had looked relegation certainties since day one of the season – and had found themselves 12 points from what they thought was safety after a 5-0 Mickleover Sports mauling.
But the UniBond League confirmed that only one team would be relegated from the division due to restructuring, leaving Spalding eight points clear of basement side Willenhall Town.
FOOTBALL: LEADING scorer Simon Mowbray led a devastating four-player exodus at Spalding United.
Lower-graded Lincoln Moorlands Railway swooped for 11-goal Mowbray.
Rivals Grantham Town snapped up full-back Stu King and Raunds Town landed defender Luke Walker.
Defender David Hone also walked out on the Tulips.
FOOTBALL: SPALDING United’s status as a UniBond League First Division South club was secured – on the same day as they suffered a 4-0 drubbing and a 32nd league loss of the campaign.
The Tulips’ skins were saved by Shepshed Dynamo, who held Willenhall Town to a 0-0 draw, meaning Richard Scott’s side were seven points clear of the foot with two games to play.
Had Willenhall not been deducted ten points for going into administration, Spalding would have been rock bottom and staring down the barrel at a return to the UCL Premier Division. Player/boss Scott said: “Another season like this would be unacceptable.”
RUGBY: A HORROR injury to Tom Duerden marred an otherwise great day for Spalding RFC, as they lifted the NLD Shield.
Town beat Bakewell Mannerians 38-14 at Mellish to secure the first silverware of Harry Sharman’s tenure as captain.
But Duerden’s injury, which saw his tibia become detached from his foot and twisted badly, left a sour taste in Spalding mouths.
FOOTBALL: DANNY Andrew finally made his Peterborough United debut – nine years after joining his boyhood idols as a youngster.
The Holbeach native, pictured, played all 90 minutes of Posh’s 1-0 defeat to Blackpool at London Road.
Andrew said: “It was a very proud moment for me. Posh have been my club since the age of ten, so to finally reach the first team is something special.”
FOOTBALL: UCL Premier Division rivals Holbeach United and Bourne Town were left stunned after being demoted to Division One on ground grading issues.
Carter’s Park and the Abbey Lawn were both found to be in breach of Grade F standard as of March 31, 2000,
Both teams finished well outside of the league’s relegation zone.
The Tigers launched an immediate appeal, with boss Shaun Keeble barking: “Our ground is among the best in the league, so to be relegated because of it beggars belief.”
Deeping Rangers player/assistant Danny Hussey backed up Keeble, branding the decision “ludicrous.”
But the Wakes took the decision on the chin – and ambitious boss Martyn Lakin resigned shortly after the demotion was confirmed.
Lakin confirmed that Bourne would be unable to return to the Premier Division unless they moved away from their Abbey Lawn home and said he had “no desire” to manage at Step Six of the Non-League ladder.
RUGBY: SPALDING RFC finally secured promotion to Midlands One East after breaking their play-off hoodoo.
Harry Sharman’s side, who suffered play-off heartache in 2008 and 2009, beat Market Harborough 25-10 at the Memorial Field.
A crowd of close to 400 roared Spalding on, with a great kicking display from Lawrence Rayner backed up by tries from Ben Williams (2) and Sharman.
FOOTBALL: HOLBEACH United were reinstated to the UCL Premier Division after their brief demotion to Division One on a ground grading issue.
They were handed a reprieve after rivals Stotfold were accepted into the Spartan South Midlands League, creating a space in the division for the Tigers to fill.
Work to ensure Carter’s Park met the Grade F standard was also completed, as a 1m strip of concrete stretching from the grandstand to behind the goal was installed.
Tigers player/boss Shaun Keeble said: “We’re back, which is the most important thing. We should never have been relegated in the first place, so justice has been served.”
RUGBY: SPALDING RFC’s Kevin Wand lived the dream of every rugby supporter as he spent a week living, eating and training as the 23rd man for the star-studded Barbarians.
Wand won the MasterCard ‘Be Number 23’ competition to be part of the Baa Baas squad ahead of the MasterCard Trophy clash at Twickenham.
That meant the 44-year-old got up close and personal to stars including England wing Paul Sackey, Australian legend George Smith and World Cup winner Ben Kay.