As the year draws to a close we can think back on the many sporting highlights that lit up 2013. There are too many to mention across all of the sports but here are a few that will illuminated 2013.
All Ireland Quarter Final
Mayo 4-17 Donegal 1-10
Mayo had lost the 2012 All Ireland final to Donegal but went into this game as favourites as Donegal were stuttering while Mayo blazed a trail through the Connacht championship. This game was hard to call but Mayo were getting the nod, just. Nobody could have expected what followed as Mayo trounced Donegal by 16 points in one of the great Croke Park exhibitions. Mayo scored early goals through Cillian O Connor and Donal Vaughan and lead by 12 at the interval, 2-10 to 0-4. At one point across both halves Mayo scored 2-9 unanswered. Aiden O Shea gave his best ever performance in a Mayo shirt and one of the great midfield performances in the dismantling of the defending All Ireland champions. He was sent off for two bookings but received a standing ovation from the Mayo faithful for his efforts in the game. Unfortunately the year was not to end with the elusive All Ireland for Mayo, who will have to wait at least one more year in the quest for Sam.
Andy Murray wins Wimbledon
Andy Murray ended a 77 year drought as he became the first British man to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936. Murray had been knocking on the door for a number of years, quarter finalist in 2008, semi finalist for the next three years, finalist in 2012 before eventually winning out in 2013. Murray’s game has steadily and visibly risen in the past couple of seasons as he cements his place as one of the worlds best tennis players. In the Wimbledon final Murray beat Serb Novak Djokovic, the favourite, in straight sets to convincingly win the title. Murray’s athleticism was too much for Djokovic on the day, Murray played like a man possessed and there was no way he was going to leave this chance behind.
Manchester United win 20th title, Alex Ferguson retires
The football world was in shock as Alex Ferguson announced, what was an inevitable retirement, from managing Manchester United. The Scot went out on top, a champion, as he guided Manchester United to their 20th league title. United dominated the Premier League, with the title race being all but over going into April. Ferguson would have thrived on the fact that he went out as a champions ahead of city rivals Manchester City in such dominating fashion after narrowly losing the title on goal difference to City the year before. Alex Ferguson’s last game at Old Trafford was an emotional occasion as he lifted another Premier League trophy in front of the United faithful, going out on top, where he has being for the most part of his career.