Sporting review of 2018 - part one

With 2018 having drawn to a close, we've decided to take a look back at some of the sporting highlights from the year that was.

Thursday, 3rd January 2019, 12:50 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 11:39 am
Rob Cross clutches the William Hill World Darts Championship trophy at Alexandra Palace. Picture courtesy Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Here are some of the memorable moments from the first six months of 2018.

l Rob Cross wins the 2018 William Hill World Darts Championship on his debut in the sport’s premier event. The St Leonards-based thrower beats 16-time champion Phil Taylor by seven sets to two in the final after edging out world number one Michael van Gerwen in a thrilling sudden death leg semi-final.

Adam Clarke on his way to victory in the Hastings Half Marathon with runner-up Charlie Joslin-Allen close behind. Picture by Simon Newstead

l Hastings United footballer Ezechukwu Ebuzoeme goes on trial with Spanish top flight club Getafe. The former England under-16 international made four substitute appearances for Hastings after joining the previous month.

l Elise Lovell wins the senior women’s long jump in the South of England Indoor Athletics Championships (SEAA) at Lee Valley, London, for the second year running. The Hastings-based heptathlete’s winning jump of 6.08 metres was the longest jump by a Sussex woman of all time and would have been a new county record had it been achieved outdoors.

l A martial arts talent from St Leonards fulfils an eight-year obsession by winning a gold medal at the world’s biggest Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament. Georgijs Rogolevs is victorious in the ultra heavyweight division - three categories above his weight - at the European Jiu Jitsu Championship 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal.

l Little Common Football Club goalkeeper Matt Cruttwell scores in the 4-1 home victory over Selsey. Cruttwell’s long kick from his own penalty area bounces over his opposite number and into the net.

Little Common Football Club celebrates with the Macron Store Southern Combination League Division One trophy. Picture by Simon Newstead


l Snooker star Jimmy Robertson reaches the quarter-finals of a full ranking event for the first time. The Bexhill potter makes it to the last eight of the German Masters before bowing out at the hands of two-time world champion Mark Williams.

l Mark Davis enjoys a superb run to the semi-finals of the Coral Snooker Shoot Out, compiling the second highest break of the tournament to boot. The St Leonards-based cueman wins five matches at the Watford Colosseum, four of them against players in the world’s top 21.

l An Egerton Park Indoor Bowls Club talent helps England to victory in an international competition. Alice Phillimore is part of the England team which wins the BIWIBC (British Isles Women’s Indoor Bowls Council) Ladies’ Under 25 International Series 2018.

l A talented young runner from Hastings Athletic Club achieves an outstanding result at the National Cross-Country Championships. George Pool produces a fantastic run to finish fourth in the under-17 men’s race at the iconic Parliament Hill course in London.


l A bowls talent from Staplecross helps England win two international titles in the far east. Emma Cooper is part of the England team which wins the plate competition at the 21st Tiger Bowls World Invitation in Hong Kong and the main event at the 7th China Open.

l Little Common Football Club seals promotion from Macron Store Southern Combination League Division One with six games to spare following a 2-0 win at home to Wick.

l Adam Clarke wins the 34th Hastings Half Marathon in bitterly cold conditions. Wearing his Hastings Athletic Club vest, the Great Britain international completes his first half marathon in one hour, eight minutes and 35 seconds.

l Rob Morphett clinches the Sussex County Indoor Bowls Association singles championship for the third year running. The Egerton Park Indoor Bowls Club talent also retains the pairs championship with teenage son Ajay.

l It’s announced that the long-running Bexhill Men’s Open Bowls Tournament, which last year was played for the 80th time, will not take place in 2018. New tournament organiser Mike Evans cannot commit to the role due to personal circumstances.


l Badminton talent Cathy Bargh triumphs at an international competition. The Sedlescombe-based player wins the over-55 women’s singles at the 102nd All England Seniors Open Championships in Hatfield, beating top players from Denmark and the Netherlands.

l Jimmy Robertson lines up in the World Snooker Championship for the fourth time after winning three matches at the qualifiers. The Bexhill cueman is beaten 10-5 by two-time champion Mark Williams in round one at The Crucible.

l Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club preserves its London Three South East status following its promotion from Kent One the previous season. H&B finish one place and three points above the three relegation positions.

l Well over 2,000 football fans turn out to watch a charity match between Hastings United Vets and Tottenham Hotspur Legends at The Pilot Field. Hastings win the match 5-2 and £20,000 is raised for the Conquest Hospital MRI Scanner Appeal.

l Little Common Football Club wins two Southern Combination League trophies in the space of four days. The Commoners follow their Division One Challenge Cup triumph by securing the Division One league title.

l Elise Lovell breaks the 29-year-old Sussex heptathlon record at the IAAF Combined Events Multistars Challenge in Florence, Italy, with a new personal best of 5,400 points.


l One of the locality’s top footballers of the last two decades calls time on a successful career. Former Brighton & Hove Albion, Eastbourne Borough and Hastings United player Scott Ramsay made his final appearance for Southern Combination League club Westfield.

l Hastings Seagull Swimming Club achieves an impressive six medals and 12 finalists at the ASA Regional Championships - the best results the club has seen in many years. Louis Choron excels with three silver medals and a bronze.

l Hollington United complete a Macron East Sussex Football League Premier Division and Hastings & District FA Intermediate Cup double for the second successive season in dramatic fashion. The Lions score late goals in their final two league games to pip Battle Baptists to the title by a single point.

l A Little Common Football Club player has his name on the Emirates FA Cup final matchball. Harry Saville is featured on the ball used in the showdown between Manchester United and Chelsea at Wembley.


l Hastings Priory Cricket Club batsman Joe Billings produces what coach Ian Gillespie describes as ‘one of the best league innings that’s been played at Horntye’. The young wicketkeeper/batsman makes 143 off 141 balls in a Sussex League Premier Division thriller at home to Horsham which Priory lose off the final ball.

l Former professional footballer Dean Hammond dons his boots once again at a charity tournament in Hastings. The 35-year-old played in midfield for Leicester City, Southampton and Brighton & Hove Albion among others.

l Rob Cross claims his first title since being crowned world darts champion on New Year’s Day. Cross wins Players Championship 13 in Wigan after beating Ian White 6-4 in the final.

l A Sussex team made up almost entirely of players from bowls clubs in Hastings and Bexhill qualifies for the national finals in a men’s inter-county double rink competition. Tony Clarkson, Keith Cheetham, Trevor Logan, Carl Dyer, Michael Stone, Lee Dickson and Lee Heitzman help Sussex reach the semi-finals of the Balcomb Trophy.