Thursday, 7 October 2010

The Prop of the Year show

At a glittering ceremony at a prestigious venue (upstairs at the Partridge & Cow, Upper Cumberworth), the union dished out the usual awards. The original plan was to have it in Grand Final week, but the postponement prompted a change of heart on some of the awards. Let's have a look at who won what.

The first award was for the Sportsman of the Year. This went to Stuart Fielden (Wigan), with the Chairman particularly pleased to note his dramatic return to form. After a couple of years in the propping wilderness, he's knuckled down and got back to the standards he set back in the day to the point at which he now has a chance to dish some out to them Australians again.

The Hit of the Year award went to Nicholas Scruton (Bradford) for his bell-ringer on fellow union member Joel Clinton of the Hull (East) chapter. Apparently, Mr Clinton's ears are still ringing.

The Best use of Fists award is shared and, inevitably, it's shared between members from opposite sides of the Hull divide. Sam Moa and Liam Watts had a right set-to in the derby, flinging knuckle left, right and centre. Proper old-school biffo which the committee enjoyed immensely.

The Club of the Year statue goes to Hull FC who have set high standards in the art of prop forwardry. There's a consistency of excellence in both attire and attitude. The boots in particular have been a joy to behold with the only glimpse of white coming on the side of Peter Cusack's choice of footwear.

By contrast, the winners of the Anti-Club of the Year have been an utter disgrace. Wakefield, for it is they, had all union members decked out in daft footwear, to the point at which a youngster like Ben Gledhill saw fit to copy his elders. That's not the model role that elder statesmen like Richard Moore should be laying down for the next generation.

Tied into this comes the special Mardarse of the Year gong which goes to former Wakefield member Shane Tronc whose missus spat her dummy and he followed her back down under with an enormous thumb print on his head. Wakefield not good enough for her? Pfft.

The Disgrace to the Union award was only ever going to be Luke Burgess's. Anyone who has ever seen the lad's Twitter feed know that his life seems to revolve around Nandos, Starbucks and an unhealthy relationship with one of them fancy dan centres.

And before we get down to the big awards, the Chairman's Special Award is going to young Eamon O'Carroll of the Wigan chapter who, on his club's Mad Monday, went drink for drink with known pisscan Mark Riddell and nearly bloody beat him. A great effort from a young man and we'll be looking out for him in the future.

So to the big awards and first it's Johnny Forriner of the Year. The initial longlist had been whittled down to three and third was Ryan O'Hara (Wales North), David Ferriol (Perpignan) second, but the winner by a landslide was Mark O'Meley (Hull West). An outstanding season by the bizarrely-eared baldy, all done in boots as black as coal. A great debut season in the union and we look forward to more from the bloke.

James Graham was leading voting in the Young Prop of the Year, but his disgraceful showing in the Grand Final saw him drop out before the final three. There's no place for bawling at refs until you go pink in the face, let alone pretending to be a cheeky half back. Third was Larne Patrick (Uddersfield) whose strong running impressed everyone, second was Liam Watts (Hull East) despite occasionally being forced into the back row, but the winner was Nicholas Scruton (Bradford). A consistently excellent year in trying circumstances for his club, all done with respect for union rules and a smile on his face. And in proper footwear. If only all youngsters kept to the standard.

And so to the big one, the Prop of the Year. In third place, a bit of a surprise, was Stuart Dickens (Featherstone). He was outstanding all year in the Championship and has even knocked kicking goals on the head which is probably what caught the judge's eyes more than anything else. Following up on his Foreigner of the Year award in second was Mark O'Meley whose praises we sang earlier. The outright winner, a shock to no-one, was that venerable old stager Adrian Morley (Warrington). The term 'role model' is overused, but entirely appropriate here. He's led his side from the front, in a lovely pair of boots, and looks like a player six or seven years his junior. It's arguably been his best season yet and all should treasure him while he's still around. He won't last forever. A future Hall of Famer, without question. Mr Morley, your union salutes you.

All the gongs given out and pies eaten, it was on to a club for additional refreshment. A good night was had by all. Congratulations to all our winners and to everyone else, those are the standards. Follow the likes of Messrs Scruton, O'Meley and Morley and you won't go far wrong.


Tim said...

Utter genius !!!

docbungle said...

Couldn't agree more about Luke Burgess