Leigh Miners Rangers celebrated an historic season at their presentation night as the club’s four senior teams received their individual awards. With over 200 people in attendance following a year in which the Women’s Plate, NCL League, Conference Cup, Grand Final and NCL Player and Coach of the Year awards were secured, with the under-18s and Alliance teams also reaching cup semi-finals, there was much to celebrate across the board.
For the women’s team, Best Newcomer award was won by rugby union recruit Rhianne Boag, whilst Young Player of the Year went to Rachael Ogden. Most Valuable Player was Mairead Quinn and Woman of Steel was Louise Hancock. Megan Eastwood was named Players’ Player and Clare Thompson won the Coaches’ Player award.
In the under-18s Most Valuable Player was Lewis Lingard and Man of Steel was Phil McLoughlin with Players’ Player being Jake Ford and Coaches’ Player Jake Lloyd.
For the Alliance team Most Valuable Player was Neil Shackloth and Man of Steel was Joe Harrison. Players’ Player was Danny Aspden and Coaches’ Player award went to Garry Fitzmartin. Lee Pugsley was selected as Welch Mill Carpets Sponsors’ Player of the Year.
In the first team, Most Valuable Player was awarded to Gareth Paine whilst Brad Hargreaves’ 32 tries in all competitions scooped him the Peter Bell Top Tryscorer award. The inaugural Peter McGuinness Supporters’ Player of the Year, presented by Dale and Francis McGuinness, went to popular Australian Shaun Dowie, who also won the Players’ Player award. An internet poll led to Ellis Grimes’ match-winner in the Grand Final being selected as Try of the Season with Tommy Parkinson being named as Man of Steel. Scott O’Brien added to his NCL Player of the Year award by being named Coaches’ Player of the Year with Darryl Kay picking up the Welch Mill Carpets Sponsors’ Player of the Year.
Rod Raines Clubman of the Year was presented to Lee Walls for his sterling work over the year especially in co-ordinating the Challenge Cup fixtures and bringing in sponsorship, whilst outgoing joint head-coach Paul Whitworth was presented with the Harry Westhead Shield for his contributions over the years. Special awards were made to club secretary Una Gillham and to the backroom staff in the women’s and men’s teams.