It was a great year of sport but then again I am going to say that every year to the day that I die. Here are the highlights and lowlights which got people fascinated in 2013.
Team of the year- New Zealand Rugby Team To go all the year unbeaten with a little bit of luck on the way The All Blacks were dominant from start to finish in this calendar year and with fans and pundits pretty much agreeing that this could be the greatest rugby team the world has ever seen, we shall wait and see what this team can produce from 2014 and onwards. It will be fascinating to watch.
Honourable mentions: The British and Irish Lions for producing an amazing series against Australia, Bayern Munich for dominating German and European football and then somehow halfway through this season under Pep Guardiola being even better than they were last season. Clare Hurling team for providing everyone with thrills in what was widely regarded as one of the best Hurling Championships Ever and Red Bull F1 Racing Team for dominating the sport for the fourth successive season.
Match of the year- All Ireland Hurling Final 8th September 2013 Clare 0-25 Cork 3-16
The two games between these two counties were absolute drama from start to finish but at a toss of a coin I would have to go for the first effort between the two. The weather was good, the championship was one of the best ever and the final lived up to what all that it had preceded. Clare should have won it the first time around but eventually they did get their day in the sun in the replay. Fantastic stuff and hopefully next year can provide the thrill and spills that this year did.
Honourable Mentions: Dublin's victory over Kerry in the All Ireland Football Semi, The Lions 23-21 win in the first test against Australia and because of the madcap finish, Watford beating Leicester in the semi-finals of the championship play-off. If you do not remember the ending here it is for a reminder.
Shock of the Year: Oscar Pistorius arrest, The poster boy of the Paralympics had everything going for him good looks, great girlfriend, admiration from his home nation South Africa until the early hours of February 14 2013 when he shot girlfriend Reeva Stenkamp through hos locked bathroom door killing Stenkamp immediately. Pistorius has always claimed that he thought it was a burglar coming into his house and he shot in self-defense when infact it was his girlfriend he allegedly mistakenly shot. His trial is set to start on the 3rd of March next year. Whatever happens now, bladerunner has had a remarkable fall from grace.
Honourable Mentions: Alex Ferguson's retirement although looking at it now it was well timed and also the question has to be asked how much power does he still wield at the club. It is certainly not doing David Moyes and favours that is for sure. Lance Armstrong even though it was not that much of a shock, he still admitted to all the doping and the breakdown of how he did it to avoid getting caught was more shocking than the revelation itself. Micheal Schumachers accident and as I type this he is till in critical condition after having two operations. Get well soon Schumi.
Documentary of the year: Keane-Vieira This documentary which was aired on ITV4 was meant to give insight of the rivalry between Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira when they were playing for Manchester United and Arsenal respectively. It did give us great insight into that rivalry but what was more impressive was Keane's honesty and personal admittances in the documentary which gave the viewer the chance to see personals side which we rarely get to see and whomever watched it probably respected at least Keane more after watching it than they might have before. Keane's admission he should have played at the World Cup was startling and it all brought flashbacks to what might have been in the World Cup in 2002. I still would have picked Denis Irwin instead of Ashley Cole in that combined 11 though. Come on Pat!
Sportsperson of the year: Plenty of candidates for this one Anyone from the New Zealand rugby team deserve a mention especially Kieran Reed who was their stand out player. Zlatan Ibrahimovic for scoring outstanding goals and generally being Zlatan, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray for bringing mens tennis to new heights in 2013. The four majors winners in golf deserve a mention Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Phil Mickelson and Jason Dufner alongside Henrik Stenson who topped both money lists this year which was an incredible achievement, Chris Froome for his Tour De France victory, Cristiano Ronaldo for overtaking Lionel Messi as being the best player in the world this year, Shane O'Donnell for that incredible performance in the All Ireland Hurling final replay, Sebastian Vettel for dominating the Formula One season in style winning the last nine races in a row is an amazing achievement by anyone standards and still only 26 which is scary, but the winner has to be an Irishman, Rob Heffernan take a bow son after missing out on a medal at the Olympics the previous year, Rob responded with character and at Moscow won the 50k walk and a gold medal for Ireland. The Corkman deserves his spot as the number one guy this year.
For 2014: My hopes are The Premiership race to be just as exciting the second half of the season as it did the first and for Arsenal to win it of course!Still think Man. City will win it though. For Ireland on the back of the New Zealand to show the same commitment and heart going into the six nations and to try and win it from the outset. We now know what we are capable of and that should be a springboard for the six nations.
Finally I wish everyone a Happy new Year and see everyone in 2014!