The Nouse Sport Review of 2014

As 2014 draws to a close, the Nouse Sport team reflect on their favourite sporting moments of the last year

Image: Kev Slade

Image: Kev Slade

Lewis Hill – Deputy Editor

England’s 3-1 Test series victory over India

At the start of the year, English cricket was in dire straits. After losing 5-0 to bitter rivals Australia on away soil, England then witnessed the departure of legendary spinner Graeme Swann and head coach Andy Flower. It was the very definition of rubbing salt in the wound. English cricket needed a ‘pick me up’. The home series against India during the summer of 2014 was therefore most welcome. For the first time in a long time, we saw new faces injected into the England dressing room with a considerable degree of success. Moeen Ali, Gary Ballance and Joe Root all shone with the bat. Alastair Cook managed to put the critics at bay for a short while after guiding the team to a convincing 3-1 series win. However, most importantly, the series win allowed new coach Peter Moores to culture some much needed excitement around English cricket and help us to forget our Ashes woes.

Grace Marsh – Editor

Roger Federer winning the Davis Cup for Switzerland

He had won them all. Eighty-two ATP titles including seventeen Grand Slams, gold and silver Olympic medals, and a record six year-end championships. It’s no wonder the Swiss world number two holds the unofficial title as one of the greatest male tennis players in history. Yet the Davis Cup had always been the last trophy missing from his admirable collection. Having pulled out of the World Tour Finals just a week before with a back injury, and critics deeming him to be way past his best, the last thing Federer’s fans expected was for the Swiss to take part, never mind lead his team to a glorious victory. Despite a loss against Gael Monfils, Federer won his doubles with Stan Wawrinka, before securing the first Davis Cup title in Swiss history with a win over Richard Gasquet. Much to the joy of his fans, Federer proved he’s still a force to be reckoned with in the top ten.

Matt Kirkum – Sports Editor

Lewis Hamilton winning the Formula One Drivers Championship

You’d be forgiven for thinking an F1 season dominated by a single team would provide the drab and dreary processional races of which the sport is often criticised. Yet the thrilling and occasionally controversial title battle between Mercedes pair Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg saw F1 hark back to a bygone era once set alight by the comparable rivalry of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost. In the face of adversity, Hamilton reigned in his teammate to win the World Championship by 67 points and, in doing so, amassed the most ever career race wins for a British driver. When once a fiery and passionate Lewis Hamilton would frequently suffer the consequences of his overzealous style, F1 fans saw an altogether more collected driver this season. Preferring to do his talking on the track, Hamilton continues to wear his heart on his sleeve which endears him to even the most casual of F1 viewers. It is perhaps no surprise, therefore, that Hamilton was awarded BBC Sports Personality of the Year to cap off what has been a remarkable year for the Briton.

Rob Middleton – Deputy Sports Editor

Atletico Madrid winning La Liga

It may seem strange or boring to pick a football team winning the league as a favourite moment but Atlético did a lot more than win La Liga in 2014. They showed that hard work and dedication could overcome hundreds of millions of pounds worth of talent. Diego Simeone united the club in a way a mercenary manager could only dream of doing, he didn’t need the £71.5 million signing of Neymar or the £85 million signing of Bale to win La Liga. Atlético took Real Madrid’s trophy the season before, and did the same to Barcelona almost 12 months later. Atlético did what my team – Liverpool – couldn’t, so to know it happened elsewhere gave me hope for the future. Even if that was taken away by wave of indifferent summer signings and a 1-0 loss to Aston Villa.

Beth Jakubowski – Deputy Editor (2013-14)

Jonny Wilkinson’s retirement

The man. The legend. A hero to the English, a hero to the French and a hero to the sport he dedicated his life to. It was only fitting that Jonny Wilkinson bowed out of rugby to a cacophony of rapturous applause and the Heineken Cup clutched in his arms. The man who won the World Cup for England, who broke records and redefined the term ‘professional’; even the most hardened Saracen fan can’t deny that watching Wilkinson cap his glittering career with the club he came to love was a sight to behold. The sole reason it was my favourite sporting moment of 2014 was because it gave the world an excuse to celebrate and appreciate what Jonny Wilkinson had achieved. He probably didn’t appreciate the platitudes, his modesty was always admirable, but it was deserved. If kids today need a role model, Jonny is their man.

Jamie Summers – Sports Editor (2013-14)

Germany 7-1 Brazil

As a football bloke, I was always going to pick this incredible 90 minutes of action as the sporting highlight of the year. After losing out at home to Uruguay in 1950, this year’s World Cup was meant to be Brazil’s time for glory. They never really impressed throughout the group stages, but still navigated their way past Chile and then the technically-wonderful Colombia, whose leading star, James Rodriguez, had stolen the show. All that stood between them and the final was Germany. Brazil were without their talisman, Neymar, and captain, Thiago Silva – but nobody saw what was to come. Thomas Müller, Miroslav Klose, a Toni Kroos brace and Sami Khedira put Germany 5-0 up inside half-an-hour. They looked like scoring with every attack – and with typical ruthless efficiency, they did. Literally. At half time, the cameras panned round to show the faces of Brazil supporters. Some were crying, others were stunned. The atmosphere in Belo Horizonte must have been toxic. In the second half, Andre Schürrle netted twice to make it 7-0, the disbelieving Brazil supporters applauding every German pass by this stage. Oscar’s late goal for Brazil went unnoticed; there wasn’t even a celebration, and at full time, a vicious chorus of boos came from the stands. Jogi Löw’s Germany eventually went on to lift the trophy, as a project that began 14 years ago – after Sven Goran-Eriksson’s England humiliated Germany 5-1 on home soil – came to fruition in style. For Brazil it was an unimaginable disaster, and this match has become infamously known as the Mineirazo. To add insult to injury, they were also thumped in the third-place playoff too. It was a fantastic World Cup, but it’ll be remembered for one thing: the occasion when Brazil expected – and their team collapsed.

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