RUGBY: England legend guest of honour at Old Laurentians annual dinner

Andy Orbinson, Player of the Year and Players' Player of the Year, with Gareth Chilcott     (Pictures by Mick Warwick)
Andy Orbinson, Player of the Year and Players' Player of the Year, with Gareth Chilcott (Pictures by Mick Warwick)

Two awards for Andy Orbinson

Old Laurentians signed off for the season with their annual dinner and awards presentations last Friday when Bath, England and British Lions legend Gareth Chilcott was the guest of honour and main speaker, writes Bill Wallis.

Top try scorers  Jordan Bunn and Ben Shepherd with Gareth Chilcott

Top try scorers Jordan Bunn and Ben Shepherd with Gareth Chilcott

Over 100 members turned up for the event at Fenley Field to enjoy a fine meal prepared by Rob Bean, recognise the outstanding contributors to the club’s season and to swap stories and reminiscences with friend and colleagues.

Taking top billing on the night was Andy Orbinson, who earned the accolade of Player of the Year and pulled off a notable double when voted Players’ Player of the Year, seeing off strong competition from his younger brother James and Dom Hammond.

Voted by OL’s supporters as their Most Entertaining Player was Troy Owen, a man who is invariably in the frame when the seasonal awards are decided.

After an outstanding first season with the club, Ash Moore was named Best Newcomer; and Ollie Jones scooped the Under 23 Player of the Year award.

At the other end of the scale, the Veterans award went to the evergreen Gary Hammond, who also came close to winning the award for leading try scorer.

But with 18 tries apiece over the season that honour fell jointly to Ben Shepherd and Jordan Bunn.

Named as Most Improved Player was Ben Roach, reward for his commitment and hard work as he established himself as a regular 1st XV player.

The 2nd XV’s Player of the Year was James Harris; and for the unsung heroes of the 3rd XV the top award went to Martin Nobes.

Mike Roberts’ untiring work as Fixture Secretary over a long period of time, a job that is essential but rarely makes the headlines, was rewarded when Chairman Andrew Spriggs named him as Clubman of the Year.

Entertainingly presented by MC Dave Middleton, the event was in every sense a resounding success.

It will be followed this week by the Annual General Meeting, when some new faces are expected to feature in the club’s hierarchy.