BRIDGWATER Town began the year tucked in the mid-table positions of the Toolstation Western League Premier Division, after their relegation from the Southern League the season before.

Middlezoy Rovers, meanwhile, were pushing for a top four spot in the Premier Division of the Somerset County League, as Bridgwater Town Reserves battled to avoid relegation from the same division.

Waterlogged pitches made their mark in January, both on the football schedule and the rugby – Bridgwater & Albion and North Petherton aiming to put greater distance between themselves and the South West 1 West drop zone.

A crucial 28-20 win away to Matson at the end of the month gave Pethy breathing room, and they pushed back up towards mid-table.

The weather was not such an issue for Somerset and Bridgwater Cricket Club batsman George Bartlett, who was topping the University of Western Australia batting averages (with 46.91) while wintering Down Under.

Bridgwater Town went into February on a run of six straight wins, taking them up to sixth spot, while Middlezoy Rovers Reserves – on their way to a Taunton Saturday League title triumph – reached the final of the Somerset Junior Cup... only to lose to Frome Collegians.

There was also semi-final success for North Petherton RFC’s Ladies, who destroyed Yeovil 70-0 to set up a Webb-Ellis Somerset Women’s Cup final meeting with Bath.

Robert Blake Science College students were winners, too, being crowned county champions in the School Games county finals in Taunton, while in horse racing, Spaxton trainer Bob Buckler enjoyed two winners in a week, at Taunton and Exeter.

March brought snow, and more postponed matches, but history was made at Bridgwater & Albion, as father and son Jerry and Ollie Phillips both came on as replacements in the Somerset Cup.

Pethy Ladies battled hard in their cup final at the Bath Rec, but it was Bath Ladies who lifted the silverware after a 13-7 win.

Bridgwater table tennis prodigy Bertie Kelly continued his meteoric rise with a glut of gold medals and national championship qualifications, the 12-year-old winning 17 golds by the end of March.

In the world of skittles, Blake Arms B and Googlies finished top of the pile in the Bridgwater Town League and Bridgwater & District League, respectively.

Sunday football side Tiger Old Boys broke the Taunton Sunday League goalscoring record with a 35-0 evisceration of Taunton Warriors – Carl Jones bagging 16 – on their way to being promoted from Division 3 to Division 1 (while also winning the Jim Jowett and Mike Stewart Cups to complete a treble).

Four straight defeats in April shattered any lingering hopes Bridgwater Town had of promotion, while Middlezoy Rovers went up to third in their league with a 3-0 win over Wrington Redhill.

North Petherton eventually finished above Bridgwater & Albion in South West 1 West, helped by a Friday night victory (32-10) over their rivals at Beggars Brook – Sam Williams scoring a hat-trick of tries and kicking 12 further points on his 250th Pethy appearance.

Quayside Trampoline & Gymnastics Club star Corey Walkes, 17, claimed two silver medals for Great Britain at the 26th European Trampoline, Tumbling and DMT Championships in Azerbaijan.

And Enmore Park golfer Hannah Woodley retained the Somerset Ladies’ Championship title at Weston-super-Mare, qualifying her for the English Women’s County Champion of Champions event in Oxfordshire – which she also won!

Sydenham netball teams Rubies and Sapphires both achieved promotion, while the Bridgwater Hockey Club men’s and ladies 1st XIs stayed in their respective Central Divisions for the next season.

After missing out on a place in the Les Phillips Cup final (losing on penalties to Shepton Mallet), Bridgwater Town finished up with a 4-4 draw at Chipping Sodbury – Jack Taylor scoring all four for the Robins – to sit in eighth place.

Middlezoy Rovers finished fifth in the County League Premier, but Bridgwater Town Reserves were relegated to Division 1.

Rhode Lane Wanderers won the Bridgwater & District Sunday League, while Middlezoy Rovers Ladies secured a top half finish in the South West Women’s Premier.

The cricket season arrived in May, and WEPL Premier 1 side Bridgwater were bolstered by the additions of Somerset spinner Max Waller, overseas batsman Ian Dev Singh Chauhan and young Somerset talents Will and Henry Smeed.

Chauhan soon made an impact, plundering an unbeaten 146 alongside captain Andrew Hallaran (141) in a thumping win over Bedminster, but Bridgwater lost five of their first six matches.

Shapwick & Polden, in Premier 2 Bristol/Somerset, had a mixed start, while North Petherton and Wembdon tied on 224 in a Somerset Division thriller.

There was success in the pool for Bridgwater swimmer Rich Hill, who won four gold medals and two silvers at the Royal Navy Masters Meet at Millfield School.

See the Mercury website later this week for the second half of our review of the year.