Like before, I’ve picked who I believe to be the top ten men and women in British sport last week, placing upon the metaphorical podium that nobody realises they’re on.
Judd Trump – Snooker
Britain’s brightest talent has found finals of ranking tournaments to be a bit of a stumbling block so far and it proved to be so once more against John Higgins in the latest round of the UK Players Tour Championship. Fortunately, Trump made up for it in the European Tour, reversing the fixture and beating Higgins 4-0. Trump narrowly makes it onto this list thanks to Higgin’s defeat to Peter Ebdon in the Premier League.
Manchester City – Football
Aston Villa may be having a torrid time in recent years but you still wouldn’t have expected the ruthlessness that Manchester City displayed to tear apart the Midlanders. Two goals apiece from Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez as well as an opener from the returning Silva, all combined with their Manchester rivals falling to Norwich, meant that City returned the top of the Premier League table. It sets them in great stead for their showdown with Real Madrid, but can they transfer league form to the notoriously tough Champions League?
Team Northumbria (Women) – Volleyball
The Northumbrian side showed up everyone else in the league by thrashing two sides 3-0, before doing the same to the Sunderland City Predators in the National Cup. Malory Eagles and both only had one fixture this week but they happened to be demoralising defeats to the Super 8 juggernauts.
Matthew Purssey – Judo
Last week’s blog about the World Cup in Samoa focused on the Renicks sisters and Olympian Ashley McKenzie and they all delivered by claiming first place in their respective categories. The toughest win of them all, however, came to Matthew Purssey, who destroyed four opponents on his way to claiming the gold medal.
Cardiff Devils – Ice Hockey
In what is probably the biggest result of the Elite Ice Hockey League season, Cardiff Devils romped past bottom of the table Edinburgh Capitals with a stunning 9-1 win. They didn’t stop there, seeing off European representatives Belfast Giants 4-3. The Devils overtook Sheffield Steelers to climb to third in the overall league, level on points with Nottingham Panthers after a shock defeat for them.
Manchester Women – Water Polo
There were plenty of huge gapped scores at the Olympic Water Polo tournament but Manchester’s ladies brought the crushings closer to home as they 19 more goals than their two opponents this weekend. The rout started with a 14-2 win over whipping girls Penguin Emperors and followed it up with an equally impressie 10-3 display against Coventry. With this result, Manchester were the only team to win both games in the latest round of the Super 5s competition.
Ben Maher – Show Jumping
Having shared wins in Vienna, Scott Brash and Michael Whitaker were back in action in Stuttgart but it was up to Ben Maher to claim the solitary British prize of the week-long meeting. Maher left it late, enjoying only bottom-half placings in the first half of the week. Fortunately, Aristo Z pulled through for him with no penalties and a 39.85 second run to claim the prize.
Ireland “A” – Rugby Union
It may not have been a capped international for some reason, but the Irish national side gave Fiji no mercy with a 53-0 mauling. With Fiji’s month not going particularly well, Ireland have shown the other British sides some true determination with recent results. Can they keep up this momentum and will the new faces display the same talent in much tougher games?
Laura Trott – Cycling
In her own words, Laura Trott isn’t quite as fit as she was at London 2012, but she repeated her gold medal-winning heroics in Glasgow, claiming the top prize in the omnium and team pursuit events. The line-up was slightly different, still participating alongside Dani King as well as new face Elinor Barker, but the girls grabbed the gold after Trott once again displayed all-round capabilities in the omnium. With mixed but positive results for Jason Kenny, the future’s bright for the track pairing.
Lewis Hamilton – Formula 1
I concede that my blog last fortnight, questioning Lewis’ chances of winning another Grand Prix, may have been premature whilst he was still at McLaren. Despite their iffy season of failures, the team provided Hamilton with a brilliant win at the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. He claims that he “wanted it more” than Sebastian Vettel, although he remains out of the running for the Championship. It would be a great achievement for Hamilton to claim the season-end win in Brazil and give Jenson Button, his under-performing team-mate, food for thought.