Coventry, Sale FC and Cinderford secured their respective league titles, Chinnor sealed promotion via the play-off whilst nine teams suffered relegation across National One and National Two.

The season is done and dusted for another year and now we hand out our awards for the 2017/18 campaign…

Player of the Year

National One

Given they surged to the National One title with minimal fuss, it is hard to look past Coventry and Jack Preece for Player of the Year. A number of his colleagues including Phil Boulton, James Stokes, Scott Tolmie and Will Maisey could all have won this award, but Cov’s flanker was central in their superb forward pack throughout their championship winning campaign.

National Two North

In National Two North, we have given Player of the Year to Sale FC’s Andy Hughes. Named captain of the club at the start of the season, he led the Manchester based-side to an historic promotion to National One. After signing from Sale Sharks last summer, Hughes has contributed massively on and off the pitch for Sale FC and his consistent performances certainly helped his side win the title.

National Two South

Like National Two North winner Andy Hughes, the recipient of the award in National Two South also joined his respective club at the start of this term. Cinderford’s Nathan Taylor was an ever present in the side that returned to National One and his talent was highlighted throughout the season as he played a huge part in the front-row for the Gloucestershire outfit.

Young Player of the Year

National One

Ben Loader has had exceptional month. After making his Premiership debut for parent club London Irish against Bath, the winger was also named in England’s training squad ahead of their tour to South Africa this summer. During a breakthrough year for Loader, he also appeared for National One side Esher and whilst picking up the National One Young Player of the Year award might not be at the top of his recent achievements, he certainly stood out for the Surrey-based outfit.

National Two North

Like Ben Loader, our winner in National Two North was also dual-registered from a club higher up the ladder. Huddersfield’s Harry Davey is currently on the books at Yorkshire Carnegie and he certainly made an impression in the fourth tier. When he was available for Field, the fly-half was integral, and Davey’s efforts certainly played a part in Gareth Lewis’ side finishing in a very impressive sixth place on their return to this division.

Harry Davey was one of Field’s star performers this season. Photo: Ray Morris

National Two South

Redingensians were one of the standout performers in National Two South this season. Seb Reynolds’ side finished in third spot and one player who helped the Rams to the bronze medal position was centre Jordan Souter. The 21-year-old scored eight tries for the Berkshire club and was also on form with the boot as the former Reading University student ended this season top of the class.

Director of Rugby of the Year

National One

Since joining the club in 2016, Rowland Winter has helped transform Coventry from a steady National One side to a team capable of competing in the Championship once again. Winter arrived at the Butts Park Arena after clinching promotion with Cambridge and with the support of chairman Jon Sharp, he has guided Cov back into the second tier of English rugby and is a worthy winner of our DoR of the Year award.

There are also a few other names which need to be a mentioned too. Darlington Mowden Park’s Danny Brown led his side to second spot while all three of the clubs promoted into National One had successful campaigns. Gavin Lach (Old Elthamians), Andy Long (Bishop’s Stortford) and Simon Verbickas (Caldy) deserve a lot of credit as does Cambridge’s Ross Stewart, who steered the Blood and Sand to 10th place.

National Two North

This award could easily have gone to one of the top two teams in this division. Sale FC’s Jonathan Keep oversaw an historic season for his side as in the space of two years, the men from Heywood Road have gone from relegation candidates to National Two North champions whilst Sedgley Park’s Matt Bebbington guided his side to the runners-up spot in his first season in charge at Park Lane.

However, the award goes to Huddersfield’s Gareth Lewis. After finishing the 2015/16 campaign bottom of National Two North and with just seven wins to their name, the Yorkshire club were back in the fifth tier, but an immediate promotion has been followed by a very impressive return to this level. Field had a superb first half of the term and a strong end to the year helped them finish in sixth place and that achievement has to be applauded.

Tynedale’s Scott Lawson, Hinckley’s George Chuter and Macclesfield’s Marshall Gadd also deserve notable mentions.

National Two South

There is no doubt that Cinderford’s Paul Morris and the team at Dockham Road deserve the plaudits for gaining promotion back to National One after a two-year absence, but the DoR award in National Two South goes to Chinnor’s Matt Williams. The Oxfordshire club finished 12 points behind Cinderford in second place, but they created history in the play-off. Chinnor beat Sedgley Park 40-31 to reach National One for the first time in their history and Williams achieved the club’s ambitions in just three years.

Seb Reynolds of Redingesians guided his side to their highest ever finish whilst Peter Dankert of Tonbridge Juddians needs to be highlighted after steering his team to a top sixth place after promotion 12 months ago. Elsewhere, credit must be given to Worthing’s Jody Levett and the duo of Kevin Coster and Saul Nelson at Old Redcliffians after their successful campaigns.

Try of the Season

National One: Tom Carleton (Esher v Fylde) 25/11/2017

National Two North: Ollie Glasse (Otley v Sedgley Park) 14/10/17

National Two South:Steve Bryant (Redingensians v Henley Hawks) 28/04/18

Top Try Scorers

National One: Sam Baker (Ampthill and District) and James Stokes (Coventry) = 21

National Two North: Myles Bean (South Leicester) = 27

National Two South: George Owen (London Irish Wild Geese) = 27

Top Points Scorers

National One: Will Maisey (Coventry) = 272

National Two North: Ricky Aley (South Leicester) = 343

National Two South: Matt McLean (Worthing Raiders = (295)

Games of the Year

National One: Old Albanian 33-31 Darlington Mowden Park (07/10/17)

National Two North: Wharfedale 44-19 Hinckley (14/04/18)

National Two South

London Irish Wild Geese 45-38 Taunton Titans (11/11/17)

Fair Play Award

The Fair Play Award is recognition of exemplary discipline that promotes the spirit of the game across all three National Leagues and the winner of this award is National Two North side Chester.

The Cheshire club picked up just 10 cards all season – none of them red – whilst the likes of Darlington Mowden Park (National One), Hull Ionians (National One) and Macclesfield (National Two North) received 11.

The sides with the best discipline in National Two South were Bury St Edmunds and Wimbledon who both accumulated 15 cards apiece.

Social Media Teams of the Year

Plymouth Albion (National One), Huddersfield (National Two North) and Worthing Raiders (National Two South) are our Social Media teams of the season. All three clubs are engaging online with regular news articles as well as team news and up-to-date reporting on matchdays across platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

Moment of the Season

Never underestimate the power of Hinckley’s scrum in National Two North and after this video went viral on social media, it had to be our moment of the year.

The NCA Awards are in association with Your Protection.