Centurions enjoy successful night at Championship Awards

Martyn Ridyard of Leigh Centurions
Martyn Ridyard of Leigh Centurions
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Leigh Centurions scooped four of the possible five awards at the Kingstone Press Championships Awards Dinner held in Manchester on Tuesday.

The coveted Kingstone Press Championship Player of the Year Award was won by Leigh half-back Martyn Ridyard, who beat off stiff competition from Anthony Thackeray of Dewsbury Rams and Doncaster’s Paul Cooke. Ridyard’s impressive performances this season have helped guide his team to the top of the Championship and into the Grand Final.

Ridyard’s half-back partner Ryan Brierley was named Kingstone Press Championship Young player of the Year for the second year running after an extraordinary season which cemented the 21-year-old as one of the sport’s most highly regarded players.

Leigh Centurions were also awarded the Kingstone Press Championship Club of the Year and the Kingstone Press Championships Foundation of the Year after a successful year both on and off the pitch. In 2014, Leigh lost just once in the Championship and pushed eventual winners Leeds Rhinos close in the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup.

Doncaster’s Paul Cooke was named Kingstone Press Championship Coach of the Year. Cooke was chosen by his Kingstone Press Championship peers after he had an impressive first year as coach, leading his team to fourth in the Championship and into the play-offs.

York City Knights’ successful season was recognised with three major awards. Hooker Jack Lee beat team-mates Pat Smith and Ben Reynolds as well as Gateshead Thunder’s Jason Payne to be crowned Kingstone Press Championship One Player of the Year.

Knights duo Ben Reynolds and James Saltonstall were joint winners of the Kingstone Press Championship One Young Player of the Year award after both youngsters consistently performed to a high standard throughout the season. York coach Gary Thornton completed the Knights’ trio of awards when he was named Championship One Coach of the Year.

The University of Gloucestershire All Golds were awarded the Kingstone Press Championship One Club of the Year.

2014 Kingstone Press Championship Award Winners

Championship Player of the Year: Martyn Ridyard (Leigh Centurions)

Championship Young Player of the Year: Ryan Brierley (Leigh Centurions)

Championship Coach of the Year: Paul Cooke (Doncaster)

Championship One Player of the Year: Jack Lee (York City Knights)

Championship One Young Player of the Year: Ben Reynolds (York City Knights) and James Saltonstall (York City Knights)

Championship One Coach of the Year: Gary Thornton (York City Knights)

Championship Club of the Year: Leigh Centurions

Championship One Club of the Year: University of Gloucestershire All Golds

Championships Foundation of the Year: Leigh Centurions