Saturday 18th May saw the Annual Luctonians Senior Players Dinner & Awards take place at Mortimer Park
A variety of players and members were recognised for their contributions to the club over the course of the 2018-19 season.
Luctonians RMS Colts
Brett Prior, Colts Lead Coach, kicked off the proceedings with a recap of this historic RMS Colts season. First up was their achievement of getting through to the National Colts Cup Semi-Finals for the first time in the club’s history. Only to later loose, away to the eventual cup winners. Next was their spectacular away win against Old Halesonians in the North Midlands Colts Cup Final, retaining the Stan Whitfield Cup for the second season running. If that wasn’t enough, they then went on to become the North Midlands Colts League 1 Champions.
He then moved on to the presentation of awards to Joe Carter for Most Improved Player, Lewis Parkes for Players’ Player and Jack Prescott for Colts Clubman.
George Sweetman scooped the Player of the Season award.
Luctonians 3rd XV
Manager Graham Rutherford reported a successful season, with victories against several club 1st XVs and ending with a tour to Tiverton.
He paid tribute to Coach, Graham Tate and went on to present awards to Dan Holmes for Most Improved Player, Gwyn Sargeant for Players’ Player, Dave Edwards for 3rdXV Clubman, with Player of the Season going to James Rutherford.
Luctonians 2nd XV
Coach, Owen Jones, praised the performance of all players with the squad ending the season as Midlands Reserve League Div 1 Champions.
He went on to present awards to the Most Improved Player Giles Morell, adding that he had no doubt that he had a very promising rugby career ahead of him, and to Player of the season, Captain Harry Whiteman.
Alacadoo of the Season
Unusually, this year the award goes to a Coach. Brett Prior, determined to be with his team, made the day trip to Mortimer Park, from Portugal, for the North Midlands Colts Cup Final earlier this season.
Whilst many an Alacadoo can say they attended a great number of fixtures this past season, none can say they left their family holiday, a thousand miles away, for a day, and then returned having seen his lads to victory. Thanks, of course, to Pip.
Luctonians 1st XV
Head Coach, Ryan Watkins summed up the season which ended with our promotion to National League 2 North. He said farewell to those who had left us, mentioning amongst others, Max Katjijeko, Helarius Kisting and Conor Turner who had returned to their home countries. He especially thanked Isaac Fanueli, who was unable to continue playing with us due to RFU regulations on foreign players in the level to which we are returning. Go Well Guys.
For the second season running, the Top Try Scorer was awarded to Josh Watkins. 33 tries this year has seen him remain our most prolific finisher, whilst Most Improved player went to Connor Deignan, a product of our Colts, who became a regular first team player.
The Player of the Season Award went to Josh Watkins, whose ability to score important tries on such a regular basis from either 13 or full-back, boosted the team on numerous occasions, not least in the play-off victory where he opened the team’s account with a brace.
It was also revealed that Josh had been named as The Rugby Paper Midlands Region Player of the Season.
Clubman of the Year 2018/19
The main award of the night – Luctonians Clubman of the Year, went to our Chairman Simon ‘Sam’ Whiteman, for his incredible efforts within the role of Club Chairman over the past five years.
Under Sam’s tenure, the club has grown incredibly in almost all facets, on and off the sporting fields. The overwhelming success of our Hospitality Tables Days, the growth within our multi-sports offerings, the introduction of a charity committee, the expansion and diversification of our schools’ coaching programme, and the structural development of the the organisation at Luctonians have all occurred under Sam’s stewardship.
He was a major player in the instigation of the successful Sundogs Festival and has put in an immeasurable amount of hours behind closed doors, which no members or supporters would see, doing the dirty work of putting up goal posts, setting up for events and attending countless meetings as a club representative. Not a man for the spotlight, Sam has been prepared to make the tough decisions when required and as a club we have progressed hugely under his hand.
Unfortunately, Sam could not be with us on the night so, through the wonders of modern technology…….