More than 80 players and members attended the 22nd Vale of Lune’s annual Players’ Awards evening on Friday.
Director of Rugby Paul Dorrington, in his introduction, emphasised the importance of developing the playing side of the club at all levels and he welcomed the reforming of the Colts section next season.
He thanked the volunteers for all their hard work and support; Steve Swarbrick and Dave Kendall for their work on the ground, Fred Swarbrick who works tirelessly organising fixtures, referees, and ground rotas, Rory Briggs for his help on match days with both players and ground staff.
Two important members will be retiring, second team manager Tony Gilmour and physio Jemma McCleery.
Before presenting the award to Club Person of the Season, the Director of Rugby made a presentation to Stuart Vernon to acknowledge his 40 years of service as Press Secretary.
Paul Stott, fourth team skipper and team manager was named Club Person of the Year, while coach Dan Williams reflected on a first team season that had started so disastrously but after the defeat at Eccles there was noticeable change in attitude on training nights.
Fergus Owens was named Player of the Season, to celebrate individual achievements ties and shirts were presented to those players who had reached significant milestones in their rugby career at the Vale of Lune.
Of the 92 players who had represented the second team a total of 16 had been recruited from Lancaster University.
Scott Manning made the most appearances; Sam Velasce Hoare was the leading try scorer and the manager made special mention of the contributions from Aaron Melville, Alex Morrison and Matt Shaw who travelled from Manchester for all home games.
Sam Hadlington was named Player of the Season, the most Promising Newcomer was Nathan Manning who ran in five tries from his five appearances.
The Most Improved Player was Taylor Mills.
Josh Skivington, Third Team Coach and Manager said it had been a tough season but that they had managed to achieve their target of remaining in the league.
There was a special mention for the Young Player of the Season, Ryan Busby, who turned up at Sedgley Park to watch a friend play and ended up helping the thirds chase down a lost cause.
Due to family and work commitments Skivington said he would be retiring, while team manager of the fourths, Paul Antcliffe, reported on a mixed season as they struggled at times to turn a full strength side out on a regular basis. Tom Rogers, coach of the Ladies, said it had been a challenging season but the team had developed after a difficult start.
Player of the Season: Fergus Owens. Players’ Player: Jack Ferguson.
Brian Huddleston Trophy Young Player of the Season: Harry Fellows. 50+ Appearance Ties: Ross Pillow, Adam Foxcroft, Billy Swarbrick, Ben Dorrington, Alex Baines, Dan Baines, Olly Cowey, Ben Charnley.
100+ Appearance Tie and Shirt: Jonty Higgin, Fergus Owens, Andy Powers.
150+ Appearance Tie and Shirt: Sam Wallbank.
Brian Huddleston Trophy Player of the Season: Sam Hadlington.
Players’ Player: Richard Hodgson.
Most Improved Player: Taylor Mills.
Most Promising Newcomer: Nathan Manning.
Player of the Season: Rob O’Brien.
Players’ Player: Sean Pedder.
Viking of the Season: Paul Scott.
Young Gun: Ryan Busby.
Brian Huddleston Trophy Player of the Season: Dave Robinson.
Players’ Player: Dave Robinson.
Player of the Season: Ellen Gallimore.
Players’ Player: Laura Mckeown.
Most Improved: Laura Mckeown.
Club Person of the Season: Paul Scott