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INTERVIEWS: Saturday Sports Show 2023 in Review

Our final Saturday Sports Show of 2023 took a look back at an eventful year of sport in the North Lancashire and Morecambe Bay area.

On the final show of 2023, hosted by Alistair Fisher and Ross Chapman, guests associated with a number of different local clubs gave their summaries of 2023, and their hopes for the coming year.

Morecambe FC (photo of JJ McKiernan and Michael Mellon by Jack Taylor)

In May, Morecambe were relegated to League Two after a 3-2 final day defeat to Exeter City.

For a short time after their relegation was confirmed, the club only had six senior contracted players, but a busy and successful summer of recruitment followed.

On-loan striker Michael Mellon is one of the league’s top scorers with 13.

Derek Adams left the position of manager and was replaced permanently by first-team coach Ged Brannan.

In a very competitive League Two season, they are currently 17th, but only six points off the playoff spots.

Listen to Beyond Radio's Michael Hope, a Shrimps fan, give his summary of Morecambe FC’s 2023.

Lancaster City (photo of Nic Evangelinos by Michael Porter)

The Dollies ended the 2022/23 season in 11th, and currently sit in 12th in the NPL Premier Division, but have had some very memorable results.

The club asked fans to vote for their favourite game from 2023 – a 4-2 away win against Ashton United, a 3-0 home victory over Macclesfield or another 3-0 win, away to Hyde United.

The Macclesfield win got over 67% of the votes.

Mark Fell resigned as manager in November after five years at the club.

There is yet to be an announcement on a new permanent management team, but experienced defenders Andrew Teague and Simon Grand are in temporary charge.

Listen to ‘Dolly Blue Sound’ matchday commentator Craig Thompson’s summary of Lancaster City FC’s 2023.

Lancaster City Ladies 

Lancaster City Ladies won promotion from the LFA Women’s County League Division One North/West earlier this year, in their first season as a reformed ladies’ team.

Captain Kayleigh Young, who first asked Lancaster City about bringing back their ladies team last year, scored an incredible 46 goals during the 2022/23 season and tops the league goalscorer standings for the 2023/24 campaign so far with 17 goals.

They are currently seventh in the LFA Women’s County League Championship Division and are doing well to cope with a number of long-term injuries.

They had a managerial change in the summer after Scott King departed the club, to be replaced by Becky Upjohn and Paul Winstanley.

The club will be running recruitment days for ladies over 16 this year, and more information on those will follow on their social media soon.

Listen to joint manager Paul Winstanley’s summary of Lancaster City Ladies’ 2023.

Vale of Lune (photo by Tony North)

After a rocky start to the season under new coach Dan Williams, the Vale’s form has picked up in recent weeks and they find themselves comfortably in mid table, but will be hoping to climb the league table even further.

They had a number of injury setbacks last year so will be hoping for fewer frustrations on that front this year.

As always with the club, there is a natural progression and several players have made the step up through the teams.

The first team look ahead to an important month of games, including a trip to Douglas RUFC (Isle of Man).

Listen to Vale communications officer Barry Lees’ summary of Vale of Lune RUFC’s 2023.

Westmorland Cricket League:

Another packed cricket season in the local area came to an end in September.

Heysham won Division 1 and will play in the Palace Shield League next year.

Meanwhile, Silverdale won Division 2 and Ingleton – one of only two Yorkshire teams in the WCL alongside Division 2 newcomers for 2024, Settle - won Division 3.

Morecambe’s fourths won the Division 4 South, while Ulverston’s second team won the Division 4 North.

The league are welcoming ten new teams to their divisions for this year’s seasons and are looking ahead to a format change in 2025.

To find out more information about their request for more umpires, contact league secretary Tim Mansfield on 07453 294549.

Listen to the league's media officer James Main’s summary of Westmorland Cricket League’s 2023.

Lancaster & Morecambe Service to Youth League:

The ever-expanding local Service to Youth League finished runners up in the Lancashire FA Red Rose Awards’ League of the Year Award.

The league is run by James and Jeanette Morgan and facilitates numerous boys' and girls’ football teams from under sevens to under 17s across North Lancashire, Cumbria and Craven.

The league are regularly welcoming new teams, even while the season is ongoing.

Listen to league secretary James Morgan’s summary of the Lancaster & Morecambe Service to Youth League’s 2023.

Lancaster Hockey Club:

All three Lancaster HC teams have settled into the new hockey season following its return in September, with the first team currently fifth in their league.

Back to Hockey and Junior Hockey players have also recently made debuts for the club, and younger players from different age groups began playing before Christmas.

Lancaster Hockey Club return to action in mid-January following the Christmas break.

Listen to club captain Leighan Bleasdale’s summary of Lancaster Hockey Club’s 2023.

Lancaster Phoenix Korfball Club (photo of Corin Maden and Freya Procter)

Many new faces have joined the club over the last 12 months, both at senior and junior level.

Both juniors and seniors have had opportunities in 2023 to represent the club, the North West area and England in many different tournaments across the country.

The club also launched a North West Academy in the autumn which has already seen major success.

There is an introductory programme, starting this month, for children aged between seven and 11.

For more information on that and how to join the club generally, visit the club’s Facebook page or website.

Listen to club chair Ellen Pearce’s summary of Lancaster Phoenix Korfball Club’s 2023.

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