GALLERY: Our top 10 moments from a golden year of Fenland sporting success

IN years to come, people will look back on the golden summer of 2012 as perhaps the finest in Great Britain’s sporting history. Fenland had its own London 2012 success stories - but there were plenty of other reasons to be proud of our sports stars this year. Here, Rob Setchell picks his 10 best Fenland sporting moments of 2012.

10. From the Caribbean to March Town United

WHEN Brett Whaley left for Yaxley in June, key players followed and things looked bleak for the Hares. Step in the former technical director of the Turks and Caicos Islands. New boss Paul Crosbie vowed to bring a professional approach to the GER and, six months later, players have returned, there are exciting developments off the pitch and things look bright.

9. Wisbech Rugby Club get promoted

IN April, a year after a 13-point deduction condemned them to relegation, Wisbech bounced back into London North-East Division Three via the play-offs. The triumph marked Tom Long’s final game as captain. The skipper said: “I have been proud and honoured to captain such a talented group of players.”

8. Steve Seymour’s holiday heroics

WHEN Australian Steve Seymour decided to take a four-week break in England, March Town Cricket Club were struggling in the Tucker Gardner Premier Division. But their former overseas star led them up to fourth in the league with 12 wickets and 189 runs in just four games. The return included a century and TWO hat-tricks in consecutive games. I won’t go into any more detail, because I was one of his hat-trick victims.

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7. The highs and lows of Jody Cundy’s Paralympic Games

FRIDAY August 31 should have seen Jody Cundy achieve a dream - but instead it turned into a nightmare. The Walpole St Andrew cycling legend descended into an expletive-ridden rant in front of the world’s cameras after officials ruled he had made a faulty start in the 1km Time Trial. But, like all great sportsmen, Cundy came roaring back to take bronze in the 4km Pursuit. Will we see him in Rio?

6. Wisbech Town’s new best Friend

HE was hoping to get 10 minutes as a substitute and he ended up breaking two records. In November, at 16 years and eight days old, Jack Friend became the youngest player to represent Wisbech Town. He also became their youngest scorer thanks to a neat 89th-minute finish against Thetford Town. “It was the best feeling ever,” he said. “Just awesome.”

5. Liam Knight smashes his personal best... in the Olympic Pool

SWIMMING sensation Liam Knight was delighted just to be competing alongside his hero Liam Tancock at the British Championships in March. But the Wisbech star went one better by smashing his personal best in the 100m backstroke and qualifying for the European Junior Championships.

4. Louise Hazel’s Olympic journey

MARCH’S golden girl achieved her lifelong dream when she represented TeamGB at London 2012 but, after the first day of the heptathlon, it wasn’t going to plan. A disastrous high jump saw her plummet down the leaderboard but an inspired comeback, which included a 200m win and a personal best in the javelin, left her with a creditable 27th-placed finish.

3. Jordan Gill makes his professional boxing debut

IT was the moment Jordan Gill had been dreaming about since he started dressing up as Prince Naseem Hamed as a youngster. The 18-year-old wrote a new chapter in Chatteris’ proud boxing history in July when he won his professional debut against journeyman Kristian Laight in Sheffield. It was an unforgettable night for Gill, who will always be able to say that he boxed on the undercard of superstar Kell Brook’s epic points win over Carson Jones.

2. Glorious George wins back-to-back European crowns

George Russell made history in July when he became the first person to retain karting’s KF3 European Championship. The 14-year-old, from Tydd St Giles, recovered from early tyre problems to finish a massive 27 points clear of his nearest rivals. To give you an idea of the scale of his achievement, Formula 1 star Sebastian Vettel only managed to win it once.

1. Jonnie Peacock becomes Doddington’s golden boy

ON Thursday September 6, 2012, the boy who almost died from meningitis as a five-year-old became a Paralympic champion. Jonnie Peacock won gold in the T44 100m, smashing the Paralympic record and beating his role model Oscar Pistorius in the process. His performance won the hearts of the nation and left Doddington with a golden post box. In February 2011, Jonnie told this newspaper that he could be the best. It turns out he was right.