IT has been a season to celebrate for Leigh Miners Rangers and the club’s annual awards ceremony, held last week at Twist Lane, did not disappoint.
With the first team’s victory in the Conference Challenge Cup, the Alliance team’s promotion to North West Men’s League Division One and the women’s team WRL Plate success making it a campaign to remember, it was one of the most eagerly anticipated awards evenings for many years.
The women’s team had Rachel Thompson as Young Player of the Year, Emily Mullen as Most Improved, Catherine Thompson as Coaches’ Player and Keli Morris as Players’ Player.
The inaugural award of Clubwoman of the Year was fittingly presented to Mina Patel, who has been a driving force behind women’s rugby at the club over the last few years.
The Alliance team saw Todd Appleby crowned as Young Player of the Year, veteran campaigner Danny Galvin lift the Man of Steel, the inspirational Steven Grundy as Coaches’ Player and Jimmy Muir as the sponsor’s Welch Mill Carpets Player of the Year.
Scott Travis picked up the Players’ Player of the Year.
For the first team, Jonny Carroll was named Most Improved Player while Dave Rowlands picked up a Man of Steel award for the second year running with this first team recognition following on from similar accolades at Alliance team level in 2011.
Sean Pendlebury won the Peter Bell Top Try scorer award with 22 touchdowns, six of which came in the 92-0 win over Siddal and which helped him set a new club record for tries in a game.
That feat was recognised with a special presentation made by the two previous holders of the record in David Blood (1973) and Alan Reddecliff (2004).
Scott O’Brien, who was also in the nominees for NCL Player of the Year, claimed the Welch Mill Carpets award while Darryl Kay was named Coaches’ Player of the Year.
Players’ Player of the Year went to Lee Gittins.
In the Try of the Season award there was a clear winner with Liam Coleman’s pitch-length score against Leigh East in the Twist Lane derby taking the plaudits and with the winner himself paying an emotional tribute to his junior coach Lloyd Pugsley, who had tragically passed away earlier that day.
The club also recognised the efforts of two committee members, with Dave Muir having been honoured at the North West Men’s League Awards earlier that week with a Services to Rugby League award, while Steve Farrell was named Rod Raines Clubman of the Year.
Photographs from the night can be viewed and ordered here: http://www.thephotographyman.co.uk/p377327197