After a busy weekend in these parts and way beyond, we look at the sporting heroes from the past couple of days...
There can be no other person to start with than Jess, after a stunning two days which culminated in glorious gold at Beijing in the World Athletics Championships. Eighteen months ago, when the Sheffield star announced that she was pregnant with her first child and would be taking time out from athletics, many pundits wondered if we would ever see Ennis-Hill back to the type of form which saw her light up the London Olympics in 2012. Those doubts were quashed in the Bird's Nest in Beijing as the 29 year old strode to glory after dominating the heptathlon over the course of the weekend. This coming after a relatively late decision to even take part. Credit must go to her coach Toni Miniciello, who has guided Ennis-Hill every step of the way, taking time to assess her readiness for major events, and their meticulous preparations have paid off. Now, bring on Rio!
The Sheffield Wednesday new boy is fast becoming a fans' favourite at Hillsborough and he showed why on Saturday with an unbelievable goal which lit up what was generally a pretty turgid affair between Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday at Elland Road. The Portuguese may not speak English very well, but after a disappointing showing in the draw with Reading in midweek (where he wasn't alone on that score), Matias let his feet do the talking in front of the Sky cameras, with his goal becoming an internet hit on Saturday. The flick over the head of Liam Cooper was sublime, but no one could have foreseen what was going to come next as the former Nacional attacker let fly with an unstoppable effort that cannoned off the underside of the bar. Goal of the weekend, certainly; goal of the month, probably; goal of the season? It may end up being just that.
This might come from a little leftfield, but stick with me here. Billy Sharp's first goal since returning to Bramall Lane was the one that Blades fans have been waiting for; they didn't have to wait for long and I'd guess they won't be hanging round too much for the next one to come either. However, McNulty deserves a huge amount of credit for his strike against Blackpool on Saturday. Aside from the fact that the finish was excellent, in finding the net last season's top goalscorer offered a lot more than a gentle reminder that he isn't ready to be cast into the shadow of the attackers who have rightly earned the headlines so far. All the talk so far has been of Che Adams, Conor Sammon and Sharp but McNulty has an abundance of quality too and if he keeps that up, he'll be figuratively knocking on Nigel Adkins door for a starting role. The player's reaction to scoring also told a tale...he knows he has to work hard to get into this team. There's widespread belief that with a consistent run in the side, something the 22 year old was denied last season, he will get goals. It might take a little time to make that breakthrough, but what the Scot produced on Saturday will do him no harm.
And don't forget...
The Ashes may have petered out after an early reclaiming, but the reason for that was down in no small part to the stunning performances of another Sheffield hero, Joe Root. The 25 year old was rightly named man of the series for his dominant displays and in the course of the battles with Australia become the world's top batsman.