THE judges faced another series of tough decisions, but they have managed to draw up the shortlists for the second Bridlington Free Press Sports Awards.
Battling it out for the main prizefor their achievements over the past 12 months will be Phil Gilson, Steve Rice and Phill Taylor.
Rice was a runner-up at our inaugural awards last year, when he was beaten to the title by triathlete Ryan Hepworth. This year he won the Bridlington premier Darts League for the sixth consecutive year and became the first amateur to play on the two World Championship stages.
Taylor is the town’s leading long-distance runner and won the first Hull Marathon last April, as well as taking top spot in a number of other local races.
Gilson enjoyed a success-packed 2012, picking up 16 trophies as he competed in drag racing around the country, including in the Isle Of Man.
In the Junior Sports Person of the Year category, boxing team-mates Kier Herrgesell and Zac Stabler, who are British champion and English champion, will be squaring up to each other.
They are up against all-rounder Rebekah Pratley, the youngest individual to make it on to the list, and Oliver Shipley, who enjoyed a prolific season with Skirlaugh Bulls in rugby league.
Also nominated for the second year in a row is Leigh Fulton, whose work in rugby and athletics to youngsters sees him up for Coach Of The Year.
Boxing gets another nod, with Damien Grant, head coach at Bridlington ABC joining him on the list, alongside football’s Dave Grosse who achieved national success.
The boxing club will be looking to retain their Club of The Year honour, but will have to beat Bridlington Town and the Bridlington-Millau Petanque Club to do so.
Team of the Year could be seen as a David and Goliath battle in cricketing terms as Sewerby 1sts, who won promotion to the York Senior League Premier Division, are shortlisted alongside Wold Newton 2nds, who defied the odds to win the Derwent Valley League Division C.
But table-topping footballers from Flamborough Ladies will also have their eyes on the prize.
There are also two straight head-to-head battles. Martongate Primary and Burlington Infants are up for the new School of the Year Award, while Martongate’s boys’ hockey team face Bridlington Cricket Club’s under 13s team for the right to become the first Junior Team of The Year.
Free Press sports editor John Edwards said: “Last year’s awards evening was a great way of showcasing how much sporting talent there is in Bridlington.
“Once again, choosing winners and runners-up, and deciding who would miss out was an almost impossible task.
“There were two or three categories which were particularly tough to judge.
“There will be plenty of surprises on the night, but hopefully, we will once again open people’s eyes as to what is going on in the Bridlington area.
“The only disappointment was that we introduced some new categories for junior sport this year and the response was poor.
“People often say young people don’t get shown in a positive light enough in the media, and here was a great chance to put it right.
“A few other sports were also light on nominations, but we always said that if people didn’t put pen to paper then their team, colleague or coach could not win an award.”
The awards ceremony takes place at Bridlington Rugby Club on Friday, March 8.
Winners will also be announced in a further seven categories on the night. They are: Rising Star, Outstanding Contribution To The Community Through Sport, Lifetime Achievement, Unsung Hero, Services To Junior Sport, Services To Village Sport, and The Sporting Moment of 2012.