The first in a new weekly series looking back at local and national sporting stories from years gone by. The first year up is 2019.

Manchester City held off a stern challenge from Liverpool to lift the Premier League trophy for the fourth time, despite the Reds losing just one game all season. Jurgen Klopp’s men were not disappointed for long, with their sixth Champions League title being confirmed with a 2-0 victory over Tottenham in the final.

England did brilliantly to battle their way to the Rugby World Cup Final after seeing off both Australia and New Zealand but fell at the final hurdle in defeat to South Africa, who equalled the Kiwis’ record of three tournament wins.

But England’s cricketers went all the way in the Cricket World Cup, defeating New Zealand in a thrilling end to the final that remained all square after a Super Over, with England winning the World Cup for the first time by virtue of their superior boundary count in the match.

They went on to lose the Ashes series later that summer, but not before a phenomenal final innings from Ben Stokes and Jack Leach to rescue victory from the jaws of defeat in the third test at Headingley.

Shane Lowry and Gary Woodland joined the illustrious list of golf’s major winners by winning The Open Championship and the US Open respectively, while Tiger Woods ended an 11-year wait for his record-extending 15th major title when he won the Masters. Brooks Koepka completed the 2019 set by lifting the PGA Championship, his fourth major crown.

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic shared the 2019 tennis Grand Slams with two wins apiece, Judd Trump earned his maiden World Snooker Championship title, while Michael Van Gerwen lifted the PDC World Darts Championship trophy for the third time.

This is The West Country:

The victorious Falmouth Town team. Picture by Colin Higgs

Football

Truro City suffered relegation back to the Southern League after winning just nine of their 42 games in the National League South, although striker Tyler Harvey finished fourth in the scoring charts with 22 goals.

Falmouth Town ended their 22-year wait to get their hands on the Cornwall Senior Cup trophy, with goals from Joe Cooper and James Ward ensuring Town came from a goal down to beat defending champions Saltash United 2-1 in the final at Bodmin Town’s Priory Park.

But the Ashes got their revenge in the Walter C Parson League Cup Final three weeks later, with Dave Barker’s late strike securing a 1-0 victory over Town.

Tavistock held off a strong challenge from Exmouth Town to win the South West Peninsula League Premier, with both teams earning promotion to the Western League. The Lambs’ Josh Grant finished as top scorer with 34 goals.

James Lorenz top-scored with 51 goals as Liskeard Athletic lost just one of their 28 games on their way to the SWPL Division 1 West title, with Mousehole scoring a whopping 106 as they secured a second-placed finish. St Dennis finished fifth but walked away with the Cornwall Charity Cup trophy.

Perranporth just about fended off Penryn Athletic’s challenge to win the Combination League for the second season running by just two points, while St Austell reserves claimed the East Cornwall Premier League title by the same margin from Saltash United reserves.

This is The West Country:

Cornwall celebrate their Bill Beaumont Cup triumph. Pic: Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo

Rugby

It was another memorable year for Cornwall rugby as the Black and Gold enjoyed a glorious and dramatic late victory over Cheshire at Twickenham to win the County Championship. A try from Plymouth Albion’s Seti Raumakita deep into added time levelled the scores before Matt Shepherd’s conversion secured Cornwall’s sixth title.

Penryn bounced back from the disappointment of missing out on promotion from Tribute Cornwall/Devon in 2018 by winning the title in 2019, losing just two of their 26 games to end a three-year spell away from Western Counties West.

Falmouth secured their highest-ever finish of seventh in Western Counties West, winning 12 of 26 games, including a dramatic late victory over Truro that condemned their Cornish rivals to relegation.

A similar record of 12 wins from 26 games saw Camborne finish ninth in the South West Premier, while Redruth finished seventh in National League 2 South.

This is The West Country:

Penryn RFC earned promotion to Western Counties West

The Cornish Pirates won 10 of 22 games to finish fifth in the Greene King IPA Championship and reached the semi-finals of the inaugural RFU Championship Cup.

Cricket

Penzance achieved a stunning quadruple in 2019, which included the capture of their maiden Cornwall Premier League title after losing just one of their 18 matches.

A fantastic year saw Penzance them lift the Vinter Cup crown for a third successive year and reach the regional finals of the national Vitality Club T20 competition, while also winning the inaugural Tribute T20 Kernow Crash.

Camborne secured an instant return to the Premier League after landing the County Division 1 title, with Vinter Cup finalists Falmouth heading the other way after finishing bottom of the top tier.

This is The West Country:

Vinter Cup - and quudruple - winners Penzance. Picture by Colin Higgs

Newquay and Hayle were the champions of the Division 2 East and West respectively, securing promotion to County 1. Holsworthy and St Ives were respective winners of Division 3 East and West, while Bugle and Redruth 3 were victors of Division 4 East and West respectively.

Grampound were victorious in the Hawkey Cup, beating Callington by seven wickets. St Blazey defeated Veryan to win the Rosevear Cup, Perranporth beat St Ives to win the Andrew Cup and Newquay beat Hayle to win the Division 2 T20.

St Just defeated Mount Ambrose CC in the Evening League Challenge, while Grampound Road collected the Cornwall Women’s League title.