The Greatest Ever Sporting Shocks!
Leicester City were the shock winners of the UK’s Premier League at unprecedented odds of 5,000/1. After narrowly escaping relegation last year, the Fox’s turnaround was more than just a rag to riches story – it’s a triumph of British football. Not only did they end up winning the league by 10 points, ahead of Arsenal in second, they did it with a team that cost a fraction of the price.
Their entire squad came in at an estimated £23 million, which when compared to Chelsea’s £213 million start-studded line-up, it’s easy to see why people were so shocked. And just to put things into perspective, Chelsea finished in 10th place this season.
And so, this got us thinking. Has there ever been anything as brilliant as Leicester City winning the Premier League?
Well, the guys at Lucky Nugget have been doing their research and they’ve come up with their favourite sporting shocks. We’ll be honest, it was something of a struggle to match Leicester! Hope you enjoy it!
Europe – Ryder Cup 2012
At the beginning of the final day Europe were 10-6 down. Jose Maria Olazabal’s squad were deflated and ready to submit. They required a total of 8 points to retain the Ryder Cup and 8 ½ points to win. America required a total of 4 ½ points to end Europe’s recent domination. The day began with a win for Luke Donald, taking down Bubba Watson 2 to 1, boosting moral and spurring on victories for Ian Poulter, Rory McIlroy and Paul Lawrie. It was nothing less than a trouncing for the first five out – America were worried, they were now only one ahead at 10-11.
The next two games put the Europe-train on halt, with wins for both Dustin Johnson and Zach Johnson. Lee Westwood was able to regain order with a win over Jim Furyk and Sergio Garcia managed to break the deadlock 9 games in to bring Europe ahead 13-12. Jason Dufner equalised after the 10th and brought the final score to 13-all. Martin Kaymer was able to secure the Ryder Cup for Europe on the 18th hole, sinking what must have been the putt of his career. At the end of the penultimate game, Europe was 14-13 up, an incredible feat, and now it was down to Francesco Molinari to bring the trophy home.
Molinari faced the then struggling Tiger Woods in the final game of the Ryder Cup, and although Europe has retained the title, they were after blood. Molinari clinched a half point after Woods missed two simple putts on the final hole of at Medinah. The crowd erupted after Molinari casually holed his final putt to win the Ryder Cup from Europe and that’s all she wrote. A remarkable comeback for team Europe!
Newcastle Knights – Australian Rugby League 1997
The Novocastrians were the clear underdogs against the much better Manly Sea Eagles. After being battered by the Minor Premiers two weeks ago, Newcastle had their play-maker and future immortal Andrew Johns working with three broken ribs and a punctured lung – this didn’t stop the legend playing though, thankfully.
Newcastle left the blocks quickly, but it was Manly who scored first with John Hopgate smashing one home. At half-time Manly were up 16-8 and looked like all she wrote for the underdogs. The leaders had dominated the majority of the first half as expected, and remained in form straight into the second half. In the last ten minutes Newcastle lifted, and the comeback was on. Andrew Johns, with everything he had, stood his ground and put in one of the most dramatic tackles in history. From there he offloaded to Robbie O’Davis, who bounded forward and crashed over the line. Johns converted and scored, and at this point, with five minutes to go, the two teams were level.
It was to be Johns who clinched the title for Newcastle, who with every ounce of energy he had left, bolted down the line, skirted down the side-line and drew the wingers away. Creating a gap for Darren Albert, he provided a key ball through the gap for his team mate and, against all odds, scored. Newcastle had their maiden grand final with just seconds remaining on the clock.
Australian Cricket Team – 1996 vs West Indies
Back before the likes of Shane Warne made his name in Australian cricket, it was all down to one man – Michael Bevan. In a game that’s often referred to as ‘The Great Escape’, this New Year’s Day fixture is definitely one for the memory books. Bevan had the soul responsibility of coordinating an unlikely victory after the Australian side slumped to a pathetic 38 for 6 out. In a score that would put most teams to bed, Bevan wasn’t having any of it.
Curtly Ambrose was bolting down ball after ball down the strip, with bone-breaking tenacity. Somehow though, Ambrose, accompanied by the likes of Ian Healy and Paul Reiffel, had managed to whittle down their opponent’s lead. After a tense last over, Glenn McGrath had eventually got off strike, requiring Bevan to score 4 runs from two balls. The first balls slipped him by and went straight to the wicket keeper. The second ball though, well, it went for a 4 and the Australians, well they partied on all through the night.
Well, those are some of our favourites at Lucky Nugget Casino. Do you have any particular favourites, let us know in the comments section below, or even tweet us on our dedicated twitter page!