31 May 2016 / Club News

Presentation evening

Grand Banquet Held In Cwmcarn Hotel To Celebrate The 2015-16 Season

It was with great anticipation and in some cases, trepidation, that the players arrived at the Cwmcarn Hotel to celebrate Cwmcarn's most successful season in over 20 years. Everyone was suitably attired in black shirt and club tie. Eagle Eye Sterry and myself donned the brighter more gregarious tie and added a much needed touch of class to proceedings. Sadly, some of the regulars who contributed so much to the season weren't able to be there. Quite why Chris Bartlett-Legge thought a day at Chepstow Races was better than a curry night at the Hotel is anyone's guess. Todd The Tank Sterry was at least on a weekend of caravan luv making. There were other notable absences, but failure to attend a presentation night does not detract from the immense efforts put in from the absentees.

In typical Bill Bartlett fashion, he failed to mention that no women would be attending the actual presentation, when I said my wife was coming. Strangely, that didn't seem to bother the boys in attendance, who spent much of the night dribbling, telling her how gorgeous she was and how I as punching above my weight. These young whippersnappers clearly fail to recognise how a classy Englishman (and Londoner to boot), with a proper set of testicles and real charisma and jojones, can pull a classy chick (I'm happy to give advice to any wannabe babe magnets). As I suspect that some partners and wives of players may actually read the drivel I'm writing, I'll spare their blushes and spousal arguments by not mentioning their names...but you know who you are!!

As possibly the only sober person in the room, it was fun to watch the evening unfold as the drink flowed. It's fair to say some people are pretty confident with 50% alcohol in their veins. I'm not sure if I was the only one who noticed Carl Jabba Hone's nose get bigger and redder as the night wore on. Housey has never been more vocal and even the normally placid Curtis Jelly Bean Jeremiah was giving as good as he gets. Sadly he still believes Rugby League is a better game than Union, so he remains delusional. Certain things remained constant though: No matter how much booze was consumed; Reuben and Morgan Goff were only going to speak when spoken to.

When the food arrived, it was better than an authentic Indian Take Away. The hor-doeuvres (starters, for the uninitiated) of onion bhaji and samosas were nice and crispy on the outside, just as they should be and the main course of chicken curry with rice and chips for carnivores and vegetable curry for herbivores was delicious. Credit should go to the chefs for coming up with something so tasty when cooking for so many people. I'm reliably informed that Lindy Butcher and Sue were responsible, so hats off to them. I had the veggie option, so thanks Sue. Carl The Beast Taylor was a more than adequate waiter - Not exactly Hooters; but I'm sure I'm not the only one who was glad Carl was fully clothed.

Bill kicked off the evening's presentation by thanking everyone for attending and endeavouring to link those in attendance with Hollywood films. It was a bit hit and miss, but not bad considering it was done without a script. Head coach and chief misery guts Andy, dissected the season and highlighted the mid season turn around in fortune, as the Malpas game; when we looked like we were heading for another thrashing, but actually won the second half. There were signs of improvement the game before, against Abersychan mind you. He was quick to mention the basics of wing play to Curtis Jeremiah: That you are actually allowed to move at more than a brisk walking pace and are allowed to tackle. Tom Goff got a mention in dispatches, for missing a game through an injury received via an under 16 player at a training session. To be fair to Tom, those young bucks treated it like a cup final and wanted to make a point or two. We probably should have splattered one or two of them. This was Andy's last season for a while, as his son and prospective future Cwmcarn flanker, is going to be playing youth rugby and like any doting father, he wants to be there to support and mentor him. Everyone present acknowledged Andy's huge contribution to Cwmcarn' success and he leaves the fold on a high, having set some nice firm foundations - On behalf of the Mighty Carn - Many thanks Andy and keep smiling...well many thanks anyway. Morgan will be supporting Ieuan in a coaching capacity this season. It is my understanding that Ieuan will speak the sessions and Morgan will mime them.

In an unfamiliar public speaking role, Ieuan initially looked about as comfortable as an Englishman with an attractive wife at a valley boy party; but soon warmed into his public speaking role. In fact I thought we might have to pop out and get a big hook to get him off. He thanked Andy for his contribution and welcomed Morgan into the fold. We now have two player coaches, so selection could be controversial this season. But hey - who doesn't like a bit of controversy. If either fancies a crack at tighthead, I will happily sit on the bench (if we could afford one). Ieuan managed to mention just about everyone involved with Cwmcarn throughout the season. At one point I thought Nelson Mandela and Mother Theresa may even get a mention. It was then onto the presentations...presented by...yep you guessed it.....

PLAYERS PLAYER: Simon Hoppy Hopkins - A well deserved honour. Hoppy has been the main ball carrier all season and led from the front. Go-forward ball is essential in any successful team. Good in the tight and willing (albeit begrudgingly) to play at prop when needs must. Most effective at second row and always takes at least two players to bring him down. Well done Hoppy.

PLAYER of the YEAR: Yep, it's that man again - Simon Hopkins: Best attendance at training and fully committed in every game (even with man flu). Not only the stand-out player, but organised the tour. A good season all round.

TOP TRY-SCORER: Chris Bartlett-Legge (Leggie) - Enough said. Runs like a whippet, but prefers grid iron - There's no accounting for taste.

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER: Reuben Hoare - The Duracell Bunny never stopped chasing and tackling all season. A contender for players player too. Never stops talking...I mean, never starts.

BEST NEWCOMER: Dan Silverback Bateman - Played in all three front row positions, but favours the number 1 shirt. Improved with every game and should be in contention for player of the year this season.

BEST TOURIST: Chris Hastings - Those not on tour can only guess what he did to deserve this most sort after of trophies - But what happens on tour...

CLUBMAN of the YEAR: Dai English Richards - Frankly, he deserves a medal for playing with this rabble...

Looking to the coming season - Rumour has it, that Eagle Eye Sterry is going to be playing this year. This means we have the orchestra and now may have a conductor as well.

Congratulations to Jabba on captaining Cwmcarn to a successful season. He may be a glory boy, but is totally committed to The Carn and leads from the front.

On a personal note, I'd like to see Dai PC Thomas speak for longer next year. It was a tad short this year and Dai's well observed witticisms are always worth listening to.

Bring on next season - Vive La Carn!


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