THE middle of June brought a pivotal win for Bridgwater Cricket Club, a 200-run stand between Max Waller and Stu Butt leading them to a four-wicket win over reigning champions Bath.

Then, a 23-run victory over Taunton St Andrew’s the following weekend lifted them off the bottom of the WEPL Premier 1 table.

Shapwick & Polden enjoyed a fine run of form going into July, taking them up to third in Premier 2 Bristol/Somerset; Bridgwater 2nds were also going well in WEPL Somerset, but North Petherton and Wembdon were anxiously looking over their shoulders.

Bridgwater Ladies, meanwhile, triumphed on the big stage – skipper Georgia Edmundson leading them to National Plate glory by beating Cottingham in the final at Newport.

The team added the Somerset Cricket League trophy to their cabinet after finals day at Wembdon CC, beating Taunton Deane by 41 runs in the decider.

Enmore Park’s ladies defeated their male counterparts to claim the Kinnersley Trophy and bragging rights ahead of the club championships, which saw Alex Clapp and Judy Hancock emerge victorious.

August brought football’s return – eventually. Bridgwater Town’s opener at Hengrove Athletic was postponed due to a lack of rain and cracks in the pitch after a blisteringly hot World Cup summer.

It was all change at Bridgwater & Albion... the rugby club overhauling their coaching structure and also setting up a new women’s team.

The first week of September saw the cricket leagues finish; Bridgwater placed sixth in WEPL Premier 1, Shapwick sixth in Premier 2 Bristol/Somerset, and Bridgwater 2nds third, Wembdon seventh and North Petherton eighth in the Somerset Division.

Bridgwater Red Sox also had a good season, defending their Somerset Vitality Under-19s T20 crown.

Bridgwater Town were stirring into life, battering Brislington 6-0 and Chipping Sodbury Town 8-0 as a Western League title challenge began to take shape, though they suffered early exits in both the FA Cup and FA Vase.

Somerset County League side Middlezoy Rovers slipped to a third straight loss in September as part of a poor start, but the next few months saw them move into mid-table, while in Division 1 Bridgwater Town Reserves were looking good for an immediate return to the Premier Division.

Quayside gymnast Corey Walkes struck gold in the men’s age 17-21 trampoline final at the 2018 Trampoline, Tumbling and DMT British Championships in Birmingham, while 19-year-old Taylor Stote shot a new course record of 62 at Enmore Park Golf Club.

There was more gymnastics success in October, Westonzoyland’s Laura Gallagher winning bronze at the World Cup event in Portugal; both she and club-mate Walkes went on to represent Great Britain at the World Championships the following month, Walkes coming closest to a medal, placing fourth.

As for table tennis sensation Bertie Kelly, the 13-year-old from Bridgwater made history by becoming Somerset’s youngest ever senior men’s champion.

Bridgwater & Albion’s flying start to the rugby season was slowing down, and South West 1 West leaders Launceston showed their class with a 60-33 win at College Way.

North Petherton had started the season slowly, but after a thrilling 25-22 win over Albion, they overtook their neighbours in the table – and there’s not much separating the teams heading into 2019.

Bridgwater Town are still in promotion contention, as are North Petherton RFC Ladies and Bridgwater Hockey Club men’s 1sts, the latter gunning for the Central Division title.

The hockey club then hit the headlines in December, for fielding five members of the Morrish family in a cup match, and Wembdon Cricket Club were among the eight clubs shortlisted at the 2018 Club Mirror Annual Awards evening... Leicestershire CCC taking the award in a rather uneven category!

So, plenty to be positive about from sport in and around Bridgwater in 2018 - keep reading your Bridgwater Mercury to stay on top of events in 2019 and beyond!

READ MORE: Sporting review of the year part one