Not quite the summer and definitely not the 60's but while the main league seasons have finished there still seems to be plenty to look forward to and reflect on.
Last weekend saw the players’ dinner for the senior players and tonight we have the presentation evening for the Mini and Junior Section. Also last weekend many of those groups had their final tournaments of the season, travelling to Hoylake and Old Bedians in the main as far as I could understand and the Colts had the League Cup Final at Sandbach. It led to a very full Clubhouse in the later afternoon and evening following on from the successful hosting of the Lancashire/ Durham Women's county match in the Gill Burns County Championship.
It would be fair to say that the success of the day somewhat overwhelmed us. It is always hard to balance staffing levels with anticipated demand, especially when the weather can be a factor. For those who would have wished to stay a little longer I apologise, but learning lessons going forward. If a group is planning a social event then if you let Sammy or Raychel know we can look to cater for it. I am not saying nothing should happen in an ad hoc way, that can be sometimes be the way that the best afternoon or evening starts, but we want to try and staff the Club appropriately and so any warnings are appreciated.
Similarly with these notes I look to mention what is happening around the Club, and will happily share information and report on upcoming events and record achievements. But just as with tackles when I played and offside when I refereed I have been known to miss things. I try to pick up information from captains/ coaches and from people like Tony Rogers, but any extra mentions are welcomed and I will try and include them. Contact me through the Club Office or on 07738766399.
Back to Friday, we had a really well attended players’ dinner. It is always good that each team has the chance to reflect together on their season and recognise the efforts of the group and also of individuals who have developed during the season. The individual awards should not detract from the team ethos but are a tradition well established.
On Friday the Women's teams’ awards were for the squad and players’ player went to Keira McCosh, Clubwomen of the year to Ellie Huckle, Coaches player went to Laura Perrin, top try scorer was Ness Temple, development player was Paige Travis and most improved player was Ashleigh Bacon. There was also a presentation on behalf of the Women's Committee for the Club by Christine Braithwaite to outgoing Director of Rugby Mark Beckett, who is stepping down from the role after two years with our thanks for all his hard work for the section. Mark has told me he is looking to carry on as a Director of the Club, but his contribution will be missed and reminds us the search for volunteers to help in each section remains a constant one.
Within the Men's Section we were treated to a searing analysis of the Third Team's season, settling for a solid 7th place in a league of 13 teams, with emerging player of the year going to Ben Clayton and player of the season to Rich Bell. The Dave Bentham Hands of Wood trophy had to go to the great man himself in his retirement year as a reward for his immense contribution to junior rugby at Firwood Waterloo. Hopefully he will be back to win it again next season!
In the Second Team the emerging player was awarded to Ben Walsh, with the Coaches’ player of the season award being jointly shared by two relative stalwarts in these modern times Joe White and Alex Smith.
In the First team the Coaches' player of the year was Luke Clifford, the player's young player of the year Alex Tenev and the players’ player of the year went to Kurt Riley.
I am sure you would join me in congratulating those player's but also all our players for their contributions to the Club this season.
I look forward to a similar celebration of the efforts of the younger sections of the Club this evening and will report further.
To try and finish briefly can I remind all members that the AGM is next week, 16th May. If you want to have the chance to catch up with what is going on, or more particularly if you want to become involved please join us. You should have seen the request for someone to join us as a Director to cover Commercial links and assist in the general fundraising to support the Club. If you think you can find the time to help please consider putting your name forward.
Going forward the Disco Bingo night and the Summer Ball are fast approaching set for the 7th and 8th June in a Marquee, and it would be good to have the Club full for what will, I am sure, be enjoyable evenings. I look forward to seeing you there and wish you well for the weekend.
All the best