Lunt picks up major prize at Kingstone Press awards evening

Shaun Lunt was the big winner at the Kingstone Press Championship & League 1 awards evening as he was named as the Championship’s player of the year.

The Hull Kingston Rovers captain beat off competition from Robins teammate Chris Atkin and Toulouse’ Mark Kheirallah to pick up the crown.

Lunt played a pivotal role in the club’s return to the Championship, scoring 13 tries in 23 appearances and providing a number of standout performances.

It capped a good evening for the Robins, who also picked up the Championship Club of the Year award after their attitude towards relegation.

London Broncos coach Andrew Henderson was voted the Kingstone Press Coach of the Year after his side secured a 2017 Qualifiers position. The award, voted for by his fellow coaches, saw Henderson beat off stiff competition from Hull KR’s Tim Sheens and Richard Marshall of Halifax.

St Helens-bound forward James Bentley scooped the Kingstone Press Championship Young Player of the Year, with the Bradford star beating competition from Alex Walker of London Broncos and Halifax hooker Brandon Moore.

Kingstone Press League 1 Player of the Year was awarded to Toronto Wolfpack’s captain Craig Hall, with Newcastle’s Lewis Young taking home Kingstone Press League 1 Young Player of the Year title.

Whitehaven’s player-coach Carl Forster marked a superb season by being named Kingstone Press League 1 Coach of the Year in his first year in professional coaching, defeating James Ford of York City Knights and Barrow Raiders’ Paul Crarey to receive the award.

The Kingstone Press League 1 Club of the Year award was presented to Toronto Wolfpack following an impressive maiden year in which they attracted crowds of over 6000 to each home game.

Featherstone Rovers and York City Knights were the winners of the Project of the Year award for the Championship and League 1, while Newcastle Thunder won the Foundation of the Year prize in recognition of their continued commitment to developing Rugby League in the North East.

Ray Abbey was named as the 2017 Community Champion sponsored by Supporters Direct. Former player and coach Ray is a fantastic ambassador for the sport and has devoted his limited spare time to a number of community and fundraising projects involving rugby league throughout his life.

The 2017 Kingstone Press Championship and League 1 award winners in full:

Championship Player of the Year: Shaun Lunt (Hull Kingston Rovers)
Championship Young Player of the Year: James Bentley (Bradford Bulls)
Championship Coach of the Year: Andrew Henderson (London Broncos)
League 1 Player of the Year: Craig Hall (Toronto Wolfpack)
League 1 Young Player of the Year: Lewis Young (Newcastle Thunder)
League 1 Coach of the Year: Carl Forster (Whitehaven RLFC)
Championship Club of the Year: Hull Kingston Rovers
League 1 Club of the Year: Toronto Wolfpack
Championship Project of the Year: Featherstone Rovers
League 1 Project of the Year: York City Knights
Foundation of the Year: Newcastle Thunder
Supporters Direct Community Champion: Ray Abbey