Hornets toast superb season at socially distanced awards ceremony ‘with a difference’
PUBLISHED: 17:00 03 September 2020
Hornets RFC took the chance to celebrate the 2019-20 campaign at a well attended, socially distanced end of season awards day recently.
The men’s first, second and third XVs and women’s team were joined by the colts, under-18 girls and under-16 boys at a well organised outdoor event to toast the club’s successes.
People were allocated bubbles, with zones marked out on the pitch and 180 people sitting under gazebos to dodge the odd shower, and each team took turns to present their awards.
Dave Bird began with the under-16 boys, who now move forward to colts, before Lee Hutchinson thanked the under-18 girls for all of their hard work and Rhi Wain handed out various awards.
Steve Davies and Ian Long presented prizes to the colts, with Russ Hooper taking the young player of the year award.
And the third XV were addressed Bob Blainey, who described the season as a very successful one where they finished fifth in the league and were the highest placed third team in Somerset Two North.
With a fresh approach they benefitted enormously from the continuity and fitness that training brings and are looking forward to another year.
Individual awards were handed out to players’ player Lee Stacey and Thomas Gill, who was given the player of the year award.
Paul Sheppard gave a very comprehensive end of season report for the second XV, thanking all who played for their support in another very competitive season.
They finished 11th in the Somerset Premier, as the highest placed second XV, and awards were presented by Mark Millman to players’ player Paul Morrrissey and player of the year Tommy Bailey.
Jon Richardson and Rob Dempseyreflected on a very successful season which saw the first XV crowned South West One West champions, six points clear in the truncated campaign.
Thanks were given to all players, backroom staff, club committee, Paul Pollard, Kelcey Venn and Chloe Swan, who received a special award as a big thank you from all the players for keeping them fit and available to play week in and week out.
A total of 50 players played in the 1st XV this last season proving how important it is to train hard and keep fit and participate in a hard-fought league and cup season.
Awards went to players’ player Matt Parker and player of the year Oscar James, with both enjoying long applause as they walked from their ‘bubble’ to the main stage.
Parker has taken over from Joe Gadd as club captain and very much looking forward to life back in South West Premier where some very mouthwatering fixtures await, and also a Bristol Combination Cup semi-final.
James was a very popular choice for player of the year having proven his strength and ability to contribute with his 19 tries a massive help as Hornets won promotion.
Gadd, in his final act as outgoing club captain, was called on to receive the champions plaque by club president Neil Cowlin, who congratulated him and his team on a great season.
Cowlin claimed the team were playing some of the best rugby he had ever seen at Hutton Moor and wished Gadd well in his new challenge as a coach, while congratulatnig Parker on his captaincy and wishing him well and luck for this next year.
The clubman of the year award was presented by Stuart Simmons to stalwart Kelcey Venn who, having played well over 300 games for Hornets first XV and heen at the club since a boy, is currently matchday manager/linesman/kitman and general all-rounder, without whose ever-present help Hornets would be much the poorer.
And in Kelcey’s absence, the award was given to another club legend in the light-footed, ageless Malcolm Venn, who sidestepped up to the stage and with his ‘fastest hands in the west’ to take hold of the cup and thank everyone in the club on behalf of Kelcey.
Training for the 2020-21 season is now well underway, with Richardson and his coaches holding regular sessions and a very well organised competitive game of the new ‘Ready4Rugby’.
Teams took part in a tournament over two training nights and captain Charlie Carter collected the trophy on behalf of the eventual winners.
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