May the 6th saw Heath stage the Club Dinner and Awards Evening. And, what a night it was. Firstly, it's great getting back to being able to hold events that we haven't done since Covid raised its head and secondly, it was a really good turn out with Players of First and Seconds to the fore. Also, it was terrific to see that former Heathen, Ezra Hinchliffe, had come back to celebrate the season with us. He's now playing at Caldy RUFC, who've also gained promotion this time - from National 1 to the Championship. (Ezra at Caldy. You are about to navigate away from the Heath RUFC website. Heath RUFC is not responsible for the content of this external site and does not monitor other Web sites for accuracy).
Sitting down promptly, as arranged, we had a fine three course roast beef meal. Followed by the Heath Twickenham Cake (see photo). Congrats and thanks to the Caterers.
First up, was Club Chair, Paul Sutcliffe (Sproggit), who proposed the toast to 'Absent Friends' and said a few words re the season and promotion - Coach Dave Harrison covering in full, later. Thanks were given to the Wednesday Volunteers for their efforts around the ground; the Backroom Staff, Matchday Officers and Lads on the Gate; Tom Walton for the best Programme in the league as well as he and Norma running the 'Caravan Tea Rooms' that not just provided refreshments for spectators during the match, but have also been able to gift funds to the Club from their sales; the 'Flood Volunteers'; Ali Gordon for his efforts with the Jnr Section; all these people showed the commitment and great strength in depth at Heath.
Club Head Coach, Dave Harrison (Harry), also took time out to thank key members of his Coaching and Support Team. Their efforts can't go uncommented upon. The Players also received his thanks and praise for the fantastic season that just finished - back to back promotions! With more exciting Rugby to come next season. BTW - training commences 1st July! Individual mentions also made to Team contributions from Tom Owen, Paul Turner, Joe Morrison, Ben Stringer, Elliott Spier. Sid Sales - thanked for his coaching skills and Spencer Blackmore for those as Fitness Guru,
Richard Cole spoke on behalf of the 2nd XV. Highlighting some fine performances, a final retirement for Emlyn James and acknowledging all the players' commitment when numbers were depleted and some results didn't go the Team's way. Looking forward to next season.
On to the Awards:
Clubman of the Year: Richly deserved and awarded to Alistair Gordon. In recognition of his work on the Junior section which is the future of the Club.
Most Improved Player: Sam Sharpe. Changed positions to help his team, when required. Some fine performances. (Sam - Penpic).
Young Player of the Year: Joe Morrison. First season at Heath. Strong runner and in the tackle. (Joe - Penpic).
Player Contribution: Tobias Hinchliffe. Played every possible game for the 2nds. Enthusiastic trainer. (Tobias - Penpic).
Coaches Award: Paul Turner. Produced a consistently high performance through the season and respected by fellow players and Coaches alike. (Paul - Penpic).
Spectators Player: Jack Pilcher. First season at the Club. Established frontrow regular with improving fitness levels, great skills and always exciting to watch. Great stats and First XV's 4th highest scorer. (Jack - Penpic).
2nd XV Dave Littlefair Award: Joe Shipman. Ever present and hard working. Seamlessly stepped up to First XV throughout season, when required. (Joe Penpic).
2nd XV Player of the Year: Brook Ward. Excellent throughout the season. (Brook Penpic).
1st XV Player of the Year: Elliott Spiers. First season at the Club and one of the most exciting players. Top try scorer, plus one of the two fastest wingers in the League (both Heath First XV). (Elliott - Penpic).
Once the Awards were completed and the recipients rightly congratulated, Club Captain Chris Moore rounded matters off with his thoughts on the season. His thanks to all players, Coaching and Backroon Staff - then the Team song! Great way to finish.