LEIGH Centurions' Edwin Ipape and Jack Miller of Keighley Cougars were recognised as the outstanding performers of the Betfred Championship and League One season at an awards night on which excellence across both competitions was recognised and celebrated.

Ipape, the Papua New Guinea hooker who joined Leigh in January to have the opportunity to be coached by Kumuls legend Adrian Lam, has made a massive impact as the Centurions have romped to the League Leaders’ Shield and next Sunday’s promotion-deciding Grand Final – and has already won the Ray French Award as player of the match in the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Miller, a 27-year-old scrum half who came through the junior ranks at Huddersfield Giants before joining Keighley from Doncaster in 2019, has pulled the strings masterfully as the Cougars dominated Betfred League One, securing automatic promotion with a 100% record. The award marked an unusual family double, exactly a decade since his father Tony was named coach of the year after steering Doncaster to promotion.

Miller was one of three Keighley award-winners on a memorable night for the Cougars, as Rhys Lovegrove was named Betfred League One Coach of the Year, and they were also named Betfred League One Club of the Year in recognition of their energy and imagination off the field as much as their brilliance on it.

Barrow Raiders won the equivalent award for the Betfred Championship, having made such a positive impact on the competition following their promotion from League One in 2021 – with the growing strength of the club including the first Cumbrian presence in the Betfred Women’s Super League.

Paul Crarey was another Barrow award-winner as he was named Betfred Championship Coach of the Year having steered the Raiders to a fourth-placed finish.

Sam Eseh, a 19-year-old prop who made several appearances for Barrow earlier in the season but has spent most of the season with Featherstone Rovers having joined them on extended loan from Wakefield Trinity, was named Championship Young Player of the Year.

George Roby, a hooker who has excelled for Swinton Lions after joining them on an extended loan from Huddersfield Giants, was named League One Young Player of the Year.

Sheffield Eagles won the coveted Foundation of the Year award after a number of significant initiatives in the city including the launch of Wheelchair and Learning Disability teams, a successful Women’s team who have reached their League One Grand Final, and a heritage project coinciding with the club’s return to Sheffield at the Olympic Legacy Park.

Barrow Raiders and Bradford Bulls were also nominated in that category, and congratulated for their outstanding work.

Special awards were also made to Kevin Nicholas and Chris Hamilton, the chairmen of Batley Bulldogs and Oldham respectively, who have both been in those roles for 25 years.


Betfred Championship Player of the Year: Edwin Ipape (Leigh Centurions).

Betfred Championship Young Player of the Year Sam Eseh (Featherstone Rovers / Barrow Raiders).

Betfred Championship Coach of the Year Paul Crarey (Barrow Raiders).

Betfred Championship Club of the Year Barrow Raiders.

Betfred League One Player of the Year Jack Miller (Keighley Cougars).

Betfred League One Young Player of the Year George Roby (Swinton Lions).

Betfred League One Coach of the Year Rhys Lovegrove (Keighley Cougars).

Betfred League One Club of the Year Keighley Cougars.

Betfred Championship / League One Foundation of the Year Sheffield Eagles (also nominated Barrow Raiders, Bradford Bulls).

Special Awards Kevin Nicholas (Batley Bulldogs), Chris Hamilton (Oldham).