SWINDON SPORT TOP 100, 2013 - PART ONE: #100-#61
4:32pm Friday 27th December 2013 in Latest Sport News
#100: Dan Thorne
The Swindon Storm quarterback began the season playing on the offensive line but injuries to regular QB Paul Kent saw him slot in under centre. As the youngster continued to learn the game Storm produced a series of impressive performances in what was their debut competitive season.
#99: Kyle Barnes
The Wootton Bassett player has been in sensational form for his side during the opening months of the 2013/14 season, scoring a bucketload of goals to lead Bassett to the top of East Central One before the Christmas break. His finest hour came in October when he scored 11 goals in the 21-1 victory over Chippenham B.
#98: Darren Ward
The Swindon Town captain has been a dependable figure at the back for the Robins and was part of the side which reached the play-offs at the end of the 2012/13 season. Following the departure of Paolo Di Canio the ultra-fit pro took temporary charge of Town along with teammate Tommy Miller.
#97: Lewis Fletcher
Along with wife Catherine, the Burderop tennis player took part in the Deaflympics in Sofia, Bulgaria and finished fourth in the mixed doubles in partnership with his wife. The pair took on French duo Bernard and Mikael Laurent in the bronze medal game and eventually lost out to the second seeds 6-2, 6-3.
#96: Mark Neilson
Neilson is the figurehead and spokesman of Neilson Promotions, which he runs with father Eddie and brother Tony, and the trio put on a series of impressive shows in 2013. Equally impressive was the gesture by their boxers to donate their money from their November show to help young cancer victim Luca Railton.
#95: Gary Turland
Turland is the face of Fightclub Promotions who put on a series of successful whitecollar boxing shows during 2013. The team also promoted an impressive amateur MMA show as well as facilitating Swindon’s first all-female whitecollar match. Turland was in Kelvin Young’s corner for his IBO Intercontinental title victory.
#94: James Clark
Clark is the latest athlete to roll off Swindon swimming's impressive production line. The youngster earned his place at the upcoming Commonwealth trials following a joint fourth-placed swim at ASA Nationals in the summer and will be homing in to secure a place at next summer’s Games in Glasgow.
#93: Stu Dawson
The Supermarine rugby player has been a steadying influence at full-back for the South Marston club and played a key part as his side won the Dorset & Wilts Senior Vase last week. Dawson has earned the nickname ‘Stu the Boot’ for his impressive kicking displays which have earned a number of victories.
#92: Jade Faulkner
Swindon gymnast Faulkner won her first individual competition after returning to rhythmic gymnastics for the first time since the Olympics. The former Esprit athlete, who was part of the first-ever Great Britain team to compete in a Games, latterly triumphed in the Attila Cup in Utrecht in May.
#91: Steve Bennett
The Swindon Storm stalwart was the central figure in ensuring the club was able to compete competitively for the first time in 2013. Although Bennett’s attention to detail was vital, his work was carried on superbly by the club’s coaching staff when he left in July to tour Afghanistan with the RAF.
#90: Ryan Aldridge
Swindon Wildcats head coach Aldridge once again led the Link Centre team to the EPL play-offs in 2012/13 where they exited at the hands of a powerful Basingstoke outfit. As well as still playing a part on the ice, Aldridge continued to promote the game tirelessly in the surrounding area and beyond.
#89: Wes Foderingham
The Swindon Town goalkeeper once again showed just how valuable a player he is throughout the course of the last 12 months. The keeper hasn’t missed a league game this year and his consistent displays earned him a place in the League One team of the year at the end of last season.
#88: Mark Cox
Having been a consistent performer for a few years, Swindon darts player Cox was able to rise up the rankings to 91st during 2013. Cox beat established player Alex Roy on stage two at the UK Open in Bolton and also qualified for the Dutch Darts Masters and the European Darts Open where he picked up significant money on the European Tour.
#87: Dave Miles
A good season from the Swindon Cricket Club youngster saw him called up to the Wiltshire Academy squad for the first time – signalling a bright future in the game for the teenage leg spinner. For his club, Miles took 11 wickets as Swindon earned promotion from the Wiltshire Division.
#86: Neil Loader
In what proved to be his final season at Greenbridge Road, Swindon Rugby coach Loader led his side to another fourth place finish in South West 1 East with his exciting brand of running rugby. After leaving the club in the summer, Loader had a brief stint coaching part-time at Wootton Bassett before becoming head coach at Salisbury.
#85: Paolo Di Canio
Although only in charge of Swindon Town for eight games at the start of 2013 the controversial Italian was unbeaten during that time. Di Canio eventually resigned on February 18, citing his position as untenable, but the following day his coaching staff took Town to the top of the table following a 3-1 win at Tranmere.
#84: Jon Sore
The batsman enjoyed one of his most prolific seasons of his career as he helped Swindon Cricket club win promotion from the Wiltshire Division. Sore scored nearly 900 runs during 2013 at an average of more than 50, with his highest score 103 not out in what was the second best innings of his career.
#83: Mark Roshier
Roshier masterminded Swindon College Old Boys’ promotion from Berks/Bucks & Oxon Premier to Southern Counties rugby, producing some impressive attacking performances along the way. The coach stood down in the summer to concentrate on his youth coaching at Wootton Bassett.
#82: Darryl Ritchings
Purton speedway rider Ritchings moved National League clubs for the start of the 2013 season and took to life on the Isle of Wight in style as he picked up the Smallbrook club’s rider of the year award. Ritchings also competed in the British Under 21 and 19 finals as he continues to progress.
#81: Tom Finney
The young Basset Down golfer finished an impressive second in Category 5 (15-28 handicap) at the Lee Westwood Golf Tour Players Championship. Finney’s display saw him finish just two shots behind the category winner and third in the overall nett competition.
#80: Harry Dearsley
At only eight-years-old, aspiring golfer Dearsley achieved a feat some professionals don’t manage in their entire careers as he scored a hole in one while playing in Broome Manor’s Tiny Tigers event in November. Dearsley hit his driver 130 yards before seeing the ball drop into the cup.
#79: Sean Millwaters
Following Supermarine Rugby Club’s relegation from Southern Counties rugby, Millwaters took over in the summer and has put his side in with a chance of promotion from Dorset & Wilts 1 North. The club’s superb start to the season was capped recently by victory oin the final of the Dorset & Wilts Senior Vase.
#78: Arnie Yugaraja
The New Zealander was Lechlade’s top scorer with 851 runs after joining as the club’s overseas player. The all-rounder played a vital role as the club missed out on the Glos/Wilts title on the final day of the season, contributing with a century and four 50s during an eventful campaign. Yugaraja also took 26 wickets.
#77: Luke Watkins
After beginning 2013 with hesitant thoughts of turning professional, boxer Watkins progressed to the final of the ABA Novice Championship only to be denied the title in controversial circumstances by Przemyslaw Pozniak. Watkins was also George Groves’ primary sparring partner for his world title fight with Carl Froch.
#76: Martin Sell
The Wrag Barn professional earned his place on the Challenge Tour for the first time at the end of 2012 and at the start of this year looked as if he could make a major impression. The 34-year-old’s best finish ended up being his first tournament in February - the Kenya Open - at which he ended up tied-14th.
#75: Jamie Cox
Former Commonwealth Games boxing champion Cox returned to the ring in June after 18 months out with a broken hand, with his sights set on the British light-middleweight title. In his comeback fight Cox beat Frenchman Matiouze Royer at the Oasis to take a big step towards his goal.
#74: Henri Sandvik
The Finn's physical, all-action style endeared him to Swindon Wildcats supporters after arriving at the start of 2013. The forward backed it up with a solid points return as well as the Link Centre side made the EPL play-offs. The import’s impression both on and off the ice saw him named assistant captain for 2013/14.
#73: Hans Andersen
Former Grand Prix speedway star Andersen once again led Swindon Robins in 2013 and started the campaign in superb fashion with a string of maximums. Only a badly injured hand stopped the Dane from performing to his best as the Robins exited the Elite League play-offs to Poole.
#72: Jonathan Wallet
As Broome Manor golfer David Howell’s coach, Wallet played an important role in the Swindon pro’s resurgence. While Howell achieved strong finished in a host of tournaments, his finest hour was undoubtedly his victory in the prestigious Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
#71: Catherine Fletcher
Burderop tennis player Fletcher represented Great Britain at the Summer Deaflympics in Bulgaria and finished fourth in three event. Along with her husband Lewis she finished fourth in the mixed doubles, had to retire from the bronze medal match in the women’s singles due to injury and also only just missed out on a mixed doubles medal.
#70: Ardil Domingo
The Australian was an instant hit after becoming Swindon Cricket Club’s overseas player for 2013 and contributed heavily with the bat and ball, scoring more than 1,000 runs and taking more than 30 wickets. Domingo also coached at various levels with the club as he made an impact both on and off the pitch.
#69: Luke Williams
Williams arrived at Swindon Town in the summer with a big reputation following his time at Brighton and quickly settled in as manager Mark Cooper’s assistant. Williams has had a big influence on Town’s slick passing style which has attracted a lot of attention.
#68: Kevin MacDonald
The highly-respected former Aston Villa coach replaced Paolo Di Canio as Swindon manager in February and despite slipping down the League One table still did enough to lead the Robins into the play-offs. MacDonald’s side were denied a place at Wembley following a penalty shootout loss to Brentford before the Scot resigned in the summer.
#67: Ben Amor
The Marlborough golfer enjoyed a sensational year which saw him crowd the English Under 18 Champion in June. Amor won a three-way play-off to lift the trophy and in the process cemented his place in the England setup but, despite winning all of his matches, his country just fell short in the Boys’ Home International.
Cricklade’s up-and-coming tennis star Hutt earned his first ATP ranking point after winning his first-round match at the Greece F9 Futures Tournament in Thessaloniki. Hutt dispatched Igor Lakhno from the Ukraine 6-4, 6-2 to pick up the point having made it through two qualifying rounds.
#65: Alex Sutton
The Wanborough para-dressage star has established himself in the eventing world this year by claiming the Winter Championships and Restricted British Summer Championships titles as well as second place in the freestyle at an international two-star event at Bishop Burton. Sutton was also third at the British Championship.
#64: Orges Peroshi
Walcot boxer Peroshi performed well to make the semi-finals of the Youth Ambition Championships, beating a number of highly-rated boxers along the way. Peroshi met Tony Vincent from Woking in the semi and although he gave his best he ultimately lost out on a unanimous decision.
#63: Kitty King
The Wiltshire eventer has enjoyed a successful year, both as an individual and riding for her country. King returned from a broken wrist to win at Gatcombe and also enjoyed successes at Tattersalls and Osberton, before finishing the year as Great Britain’s top performer in the final leg of the FEI Nation Cup in the Netherlands.
#62: Craig Harris
The Isambard pupil has enjoyed another impressive year which began with five medals and five personal bests at the British International Disability Swimming Championships. Harris added to his haul in September with two golds and a silver at the Sainsbury’s 2013 School Games in Sheffield.
#61: Dominic Threlfall
The owner of Pebley Beach garage started the year by once again being a loyal sponsor of Swindon Robins and then stepped in later in the season when the club was enduring financial difficulties. Without the help of Pebley and main sponsor Excalibur, the club may have been faced with the prospect of not completing the campaign.
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