GREENOCK Wanderers recently held their annual prizegiving ceremony to commemorate the efforts and successes of players, officials and members throughout the season.
The event was hosted by president John McDougall at Wanderers’ Octavia Terrace club rooms and was a highly successful evening, with several top prizes being claimed by the newly-formed ladies team.
Sponsored prizes and guest presenters added to the sense of occasion with members from all sections of the club being recognised.
The much sought-after team of the year award went to the ladies side after an excellent first full season in existence and their success was further highlighted by the announcement that they have been accepted into mainstream national competition next term.
Captain Caitlyn Haldane received the prize on behalf of her side.
Other team prizes went to the under-16s who picked up the John Adamson trophy for young team of the year, sponsored by Lodge Greenock Kilwinning no’s XII in memory of former lodge master and Wanderers president Jock Adamson.
Jock’s son Jim Adamson, a former Wanderers captain, made the presentation.
Youth rugby convenor Kenny Lang also presented the midi team of the year award to the secondary two side who are coached by Robert Mitchell and Andy Love.
The individual awards were closely contested, with Lauren Gunn winning the inaugural ladies player of the year award after an outstanding season.
The award was sponsored by well known local businessman and club member Ewen Haldane. The most improved ladies player was Lesley Routledge and the top try scorer was flying winger Hannah Mutton.
For the men, former skipper Ally Abernethy won the coveted player of the year award and he doubled up by also claiming the prize for top try scorer.
Best incoming player was the hard-running winger Fraser Reid who, returned to the club after several years out of the game, and Stewart Alexander was voted the most improved player during the season.
The second team player of the year was the evergreen veteran of more top team campaigns than even he cares to remember, Kevin Murray, who continues to confound his critics with the silky skills, blistering pace and no-nonsense tackling that were his trademark during the glory years.
At age group level the awards were equally tightly contested with under-18s star Brad Cleary winning the Aaron Ramage cup, sponsored by David Ramage, which is awarded annually to the outstanding young player at the club.
Ben Currie claimed the most improved player trophy at that level.
The under-16s player of the year and Wanderer of the year award went to Drew Lewis and David Baillie respectively.
The prizes of happy Wanderer and senior Wanderer of the year went to two hard working members who ply their trade behind the scenes.
Robin McDougall and Craig Marshall are very much the unsung heroes at Fort Matilda and the contribution they make on a weekly basis from running touch, to washing strips, assisting in the kitchen and coaching youngsters was rightly recognised with two of the top awards. Former captain Kenny Diffenthal won the Brown kicking trophy and the tankard for scoring the first try of the season — donated by the much loved George Bryden, who sadly passed away in October — was secured by Stewart McTavish.
President McDougall said: “It was an excellent evening and it’s a time to honour those that have done a great job for the club throughout the season.
“There is a lot of positivity about the club just now particularly with the growing success of ladies and youth rugby and that stands us in good stead for the future.
“We are working hard at ensuring that we continue to thrive in key areas and I would like to thank all the backroom staff, players, officials and supporters for their contribution during the season.” The evening concluded with a race night in aid of club funds.
Wanderers are sponsored by Texas Instruments.