Midlands 3 East (North)
Amber Valley 1st XV 36pts
Valley finished off their league campaign with a fine win over a poor, but fired up Worksop.
A hat-trick for Adrian Head topped off a good season and means the team finished unbeaten in their last five fixtures.
It was a dominant performance from the home side, with only a couple of lapses in concentration that gave Worksop two consolation scores, one in either half.
A good start from the home side saw a great individual effort from Shaun Dowdall, a set piece move was executed well and Dowdall bounced two tacklers and then stepped his way through the defence to go over in the corner, a great individual effort. Ardern converted to put Valley 7-0 up.
Matt Goodall got Valleys second, showing great strength to power over the line from short range following more good work by the backs.
Mark Burditt and Adrian Head also got on the scoresheet as half time approached with a score by Worksop inbetween to make sure of the bonus point and put Valley into a commanding 26-5 lead at half time.
Valley did have further opportunities to score, Lee Steemson going close as did Duran Wardale in the backs. Shaun Dowdall continued to cause the worksop defence problems all afternoon until substituted late on to give Dave Walters a run out as he makes a slow return from an ankle injury sustained against Notts Casuals.
The second half was not as high scoring as the first, Valley perhaps a little guilty of whiteline fever, but also Worksop had raised their game and were a lot more solid in defence. Andy Bonsall was unlucky not to score as he rounded the defence, but a good tackle denied the opportunity. The forwards were dominating the set piece and Lee Chapman was able to use the ball well, varying the play from tight forwards drives to spinning the ball to the backs.
Adrian Head got both scores in the second half, both typical tries he has scored all season to finish top scorer. Pickups from the base of scrums and peeling off the back of mauls have become somewhat of a speciality.
That evening Valley held their annual awards evening at Alfreton Hall where Lee Chapman won both Young Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the year after an outstanding season, Matt Goodall was voted most improved player by his peers as he cemeted his position as first choice prop.
The coaches’ player of the year went to Andy Bell, in only his second season of rugby he has become an integral part of the pack and is starting to really dominate the line-out and is not afraid of doing the hard unseen work every side needs
In the second team Karl Bunting was awarded the coaches player year and Steve Thorpe the players award for seemingly scoring tries at will.
The Hazzy Trophy for clubman of the year went to Stuart Artliff for his tireless work with the junior section, whci has gone from strength to strength under his leadership. With the World Cup coming this Autumn they will hopefully see an influx of new players.
Finally the President’s award deservedly went to Gillian Dables, who has put in countless hours running the bar and clubhouse.