CROSS Keys flanker Scott Matthews was named as newcomer of the year at the Principality Premiership Awards Dinner, writes Chris Kirwan.

The openside had a magnificent campaign for the Pandy Park outfit and his exploits earned two appearances for Newport Gwent Dragons and selection for Wales Under-20s’ Junior World Championship squad.

It was, predictably, a night of celebration for Pontypridd who won the fair play award in addition to having Paul John named as coach of the year and full-back Geraint Walsh awarded both player of the year and try of the year.

Gwyn Morris was voted referee of the season by the Principality Premiership coaches while there was recognition for the top try and points scorers. Rory Budina scored 12 tries, 11 for Bedwas and one for Newport while Geraint O’Driscoll notched up 230 league points for the Black and Ambers.

Theunsung hero award was awarded posthumously to Byron Mugford, the former Swansea player and honorary secretary, and secretary of the Premier Division who passed away in October.

Principality Premiership Awards 2014

  • Player of the Year – Geraint Walsh (Pontypridd)
  • Coach of the Year – Paul John (Pontypridd)
  • Best Newcomer – Scott Matthews (Cross Keys)
  • Try of the Year – Geraint Walsh (Pontypridd)
  • Top points scorer – Geraint O’Driscoll (Newport, 230 points)
  • Top try scorer – Rory Budina (Bedwas, 11 tries for Bedwas, one for Newport)
  • Referee of the year award (Gwyn Morris)
  • Unsung Hero – Byron Mugford (Swansea, posthumous) Fair Play Award – Pontypridd

Principality Premiership Dream XV: Geraint Walsh (Pontypridd); Rory Budina (Bedwas), Matthew Jacobs (Llandovery), Rhys Williams (Carmarthen Quins), Jason Harries (Carmarthen Quins); Simon Humberstone (Pontypridd), Aled Davies (Llanelli); Nicky Smith (Swansea), Ashley James (Bridgend), Nicky Thomas (Swansea), Craig Locke (Pontypridd), Haydn Pugh (Carmarthen Quins), Phil Day (Llandovery), James Davies (Carmarthen Quins), Adam Powell (Cross Keys)