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End of Season Awards

Posted: May 13, 2024
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Cornish Pirates ‘Post Match Awards’ 2024

At the end of Saturday’s Cornish Pirates versus Coventry match played at the Mennaye Field, certain Annual Awards were made from in front of the main Truro & Penwith College grandstand.


PA announcer Phil Westren firstly expressed thanks to all who have contributed to the Pirates cause, covering the Cornish Pirates, Penzance & Newlyn RFC’s youth section, and the Pirates Amateurs. In particular, seeing as it was a Cornish Pirates match day, he especially highlighted the senior team’s impressive achievements this season, who have a chance to finish second in the Championship for the first time ever should they win their final game at London Scottish on Saturday week.


Awards made in order were as follows: 


Man of the Match Award – Firstly, Chairman of the Cornish Pirates, Paul Durkin, presented Saturday’s man of the match award to a young hooker who has impressed in scoring three tries in just four league appearances – Harry Hocking.


100 Games Merit Tie – Paul also presented a 100 games merit tie to a player who recently proudly reached the milestone and, along the way, has played some wonderful rugby and scored many outstanding tries – Robin Wedlake.


The Edwin Bryant Trophy – This fine trophy, a handcrafted-mounted rugby ball in cedar, is presented in memory of Edwin Bryant, a respected rugby man who was for many years a member of the Cornwall Rugby Referees’ Society. The award goes annually to a player – perhaps an unsung hero and great stalwart – who has been a squad member for at least three seasons. Edwin’s widow Carole, accompanied by loyal supporter Mike Richards, presented the trophy to a player who has developed and performed so consistently and reliably well in the centre – Joe Elderkin.


The Dave Berryman Cup – This next important ‘Volunteer of the Year’ trophy was this year shared and presented by Cornish Pirates’ CEO Rebecca Thomas. Firstly, though, Phil said a few words in respect of the magnificent contribution made by Rebecca, who is standing down from her role but will continue as a board member, before praising the club’s volunteers and, especially, the two winners. Posthumous recognition went to Mike Richards, who sadly passed away during the season after being a lifelong supporter of the Pirates. He was a former ‘Captain Benbow’, PA System engineer and a gate-duty man, even after having both his legs amputated. Sharing the trophy with Mike was his every good friend, Mike Uren, who has also been a great stalwart. Mike’s dad John played for the Pirates in their first ever game back in 1945, and Mike himself has over the years given so much of his time voluntarily, again attending to PA System needs in a variety of ways, and always in an immediately responsive and quiet manner.


The Roger Pascoe Cup – The next trophy presented, again by Rebecca, is also considered special, as it goes annually to the voted for ‘Supporters ‘Player of the Season’ – in memory of former player Roger ‘Paco’ Pascoe, who made over 1,000 appearances for the club. The award this year went to someone who has certainly impressed in making 25 appearances and, with a combination of awareness, strength, and speed, has scored 13 tries. As ever, ‘Paco’ would have approved! The winner was – Matt McNab.


John Stirling Memorial Cup for Commitment – John was a former player and committed Pirate, and his widow Wendy, a great supporter, once again kindly stepped forward to present the trophy to someone who has played at a consistently high level during his time with the Pirates, a real ‘dog’ (and definitely not a poodle!) and respected forward who, in just two years, has accumulated 49 games. The committed and fully deserved winner was – Alex Everett.


Player of the Year – Now, this trophy is normally presented at the club’s end of season Dinner. For this year, however, because a special guest was present in the shape of former player Tim Cowley, who nowadays lives in France but won the trophy with the Pirates back in both 2007 and 2008, it was felt fitting that the highly respected Kiwi-born former Samoan international backrower could do the honours. And who was the winner? Well, a major contributor in the team’s pack, who always has a smile on his face and is immensely popular with one and all, the recipient was – Lefty Zigiriadis.


Clubman of the Year – It was announced that the winner this year was unable to be present because of her Paul Cricket Club commitments. She

has, however, worked tirelessly in the background for the Pirates over many years, fundraising and often in the kitchen, initially in support of the Pirates reserves and in recent years for the Pirates Amateurs, and not forgetting her support given too for her former rugby playing husband Andrew. An aunt, Wendy Stirling, accepted the award from Penzance & Newlyn RFC’s President, Terry Drew, in the apologised absence of the winner – Kelda Snell.


The President’s Cup – This was the final trophy to be presented, as other awards will be made at this coming Friday’s Club Dinner. It is a trophy that usually goes to the player who, in the opinion of the President of Penzance & Newlyn RFC, has been the most outstanding contributor on the field during the season. This year, though, was a little different, as Terry was delighted to make his presentation to two men, two mighty Pirates whose contributions both as players was top drawer, as it has been since they packed up playing and turned to coaching. What they have achieved year by year, especially coping with the frustration of annual player turnover, has been quite phenomenal. The winning duo, and cherished individuals at that, were – Gavin Cattle & Alan Paver.