Gallery / Rugby

Flowers and Kenny among the awards as Devonport Services celebrate season

DEVONPORT Services celebrated a ground-breaking season with a joint men’s and women’s presentation night at the Rectory.

The men’s first team and their women’s side had enjoyed debut campaigns in new leagues.

The men played in South West One, having won promotion the previous season, while the recently reformed Services women completed their first year in South West South Two.

“It was great to have everyone together,” said Services coach Mike Lewis. “We had the men’s first and second teams, the women’s side, the colts team and representatives from the youth sides.

“It was a decent season for everyone all-round, but the men’s second team had done really well in the Devon Merit Table and winning the Lockie Cup and so they got team of the year.”

Two of the women’s prizes went to two newcomers to the game of rugby.

Gemma Flowers scooped the coaches’ player of the year award. She started through the club’s RFU Inner Warrior sessions as her son played for the club. She has since gone on to not only be a key player of the team but to also earn Royal Navy honours.

Fellow newcomer to rugby Katherine McEwing, whose son also plays for Services’ juniors, claimed the most improved player of the year, while the more experienced Hannah Pomfret scooped the players’ player of the year.

Luke Kenny claimed two of the men’s first team awards. He picked up the captain’s cup and the players’ player of the of the year prize. Devon under-20 player Liam Jarvis claimed the coaches’ player of the year award.

Iain Nicol was clubman of the year, while Tom Hind was the most improved player and David Wilkins the second team player of the year. Joe Semple was the second team players’ player of the year, while Andy Tillbrook was the second team’s most improved player of the year.

Mike Rickard was the colts players’ player of the year, Ben Charlton the colts clubman, Finn Hosking the coaches’ colts player of the year and Alex Jewell and Callum Goss were joint colts most improved players of the year.

Meanwhile, former Plymouth Albion and Devon coach James Digweed is to take over as the women’s head coach ahead of next season.

Lewis has been coaching both the men’s and the women’s sides, as well as running Plymouth Albion’s community programme, but having Digweed involved will allow him to take a step back, although he will still be involved.

Digweed said: “I have a great love for this club already and I want to see it being one of the best ladies team in the South West within a few years. I honestly believe we can achieve that with the right attitude and the right team around us.

“We are going to have a massive player recruitment drive this year and current players have already started fitness training several months before pre-season. This shows to me how committed the team are to being successful this season and for the future.”

The women’s team train every Wednesday at the Rectory from 7pm and welcome players of all abilities.

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