The beauty of sport is it is unpredictable. 2018 was another year in which Rotorua athletes, teams and clubs reached for the stars. Rotorua Daily Post sports reporter David Beck has a list of his favourites (in no particular order).
Amanda Landers-Murphy wins Commonwealth Games gold in the women's squash doubles
Four years ago they were knocked out in the quarter-finals in Glasgow, but this year Landers-Murphy and Joelle King went all the way on the Gold Coast. They beat India's Dipika Pallikal Karthik and Joshna Chinappa 2-0 in a final which had the Rotorua Daily Post news room on their feet.
16-year-old golfer James Tauariki shoots 13 under par
The golfing world was forced to take notice when Rotorua Boys' High School student James Tauariki shot an incredible 13 under par 57 at Springfield Golf Course. His first nine was astounding, needing only 26 shots. Danny Lee's best score on the same course was 59.
Ngongotahā Chiefs win Bay of Plenty/Coastline Premier rugby league title
The Mangakino Hawks were the team to beat all season and were favourites to win the final, but Ngongotahā didn't get the memo. They produced a near-flawless performance to win 34-10 and claim the title.
Kelly Brazier goes length of the field to win Commonwealth Games sevens final
She's not from Rotorua, but I had to make an exception for this sporting moment because if you don't love watching Brazier run the length of the field to steal gold from the Aussies, then you don't love rugby.
Geyser City Cricket Club wins Club of the Year
I was on the judging panel for the Bay of Plenty Sports Awards this year and Club of the Year was one of the easier categories to pick. Seeing a lack of pathways for young cricketers, Geyser City have joined forces with local schools to create a unique and efficient model.
Liam Messam turns out for Marist St Michael's
Twenty-two years after his last game for the club as a junior, former All Black Liam Messam played for Marist St Michael's in June. While his 20-minute cameo was not enough to get the Baywide Premier 2 side across the line, going down 53-8 to Rangiuru, it was an occasion which will live long in the memory for all involved.
Sam Osborne finishes second at Cross Triathlon World Championships
Osborne's silver medal in Denmark came on the back of securing his second consecutive Xterra Asia/Pacific title and he described it as his "biggest result ever". He finished the race in 2h 7m 51s, just 1m 47s behind four-time world champion Ruben Ruzafa, of Spain.
Bay of Plenty Volcanix topple Auckland to secure another year in the Premiership
During the Farah Palmer Cup Premiership round robin Bay of Plenty made history when they beat Auckland for the first time. Two weeks later they proved it was no fluke when they produced a thrilling 25-22 win over the same side in the relegation playoff in Tauranga.
New Zealand men's under-20 netball team win transtasman title
This year, for the first time, the men's netball Trans-Tasman Cup included an under-20 series and a New Zealand side packed with Rotorua stars took the win. The team, coached by Rotorua's Hemi McKinney, won their three-game series against Australia 2-1 in Adelaide.
The Tall Blacks play in Rotorua. Twice
In June the Tall Blacks brought their World Cup qualifier against Hong Kong to Rotorua and delighted local basketball fans as they thrashed their opposition 124-65. The Tall Blacks enjoyed their time in this great city so much that they played another qualifier, against Lebanon, here in September and won 63-60.