1896–97 Northern Rugby Football Union season

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1896–97 Northern Rugby Football Union season
Structure Separate county championships[1]
1896–97 Season
Top point-scorer(s) Faxcolours.svg Rigg 112[2]
Top try-scorer(s) Hunsletcolours.svg Hannah 19[2]
Joined League Bramley
Castleford
Heckmondwike
Holbeck
Leeds Parish Church
Morecambe
Swintoncolours.svg Swinton
Redscolours.svg Salford
Lancashire Senior Competition
Champions Broughton Rangers
Yorkshire Senior Competition
Champions Brighouse Rovers
< 1895–96 Seasons 1897–98 >

The 1896–97 Northern Rugby Football Union season was the second ever season of rugby league football. Following the success of the Northern Union's first season, several more clubs from the established Rugby Football Union joined the rebel competition. This resulted in the decision that for the 1896–97 season the competition should be split into two separate county championships: Lancashire and Yorkshire.[1] This season also saw the introduction of the Challenge Cup,[1] with Batley defeating St Helens in the inaugural final.[3]

Season summary[edit]

Eight new teams joined the twenty-two teams already in the breakaway Northern Union, and so it was split into two county leagues for the 1896–97 season. The new teams were Bramley, Castleford, Heckmondwike, Holbeck, Leeds Parish Church, Morecambe, Swinton and Salford. Salford's first game was a 10-0 defeat away to Widnes on 5 September 1896.[4]

Mr J.E. Warren of the Warrington club was elected as the new President of the Northern Union.[1] Warren, previously Warrington's secretary, had played a key role in Warrington's involvement in the foundation of the Northern Union.[1]

The leading try scorer overall this season was Hannah of Hunslet, who crossed the line 19 times.[2] The leading goal kickers were Albert Goldthorpe of Hunslet and Sharpe of Liversedge who both successful 26 times.[2] The leading points scorer was Archie Rigg of Halifax with 112 points.[2]

Lancashire Senior Competition[edit]

After finishing second from the bottom of the competition in the previous season, Broughton Rangers made a remarkable turnaround to finish the 1896–97 competition at the top of the Lancashire division, just one competition point ahead of Oldham, who had won more matches and had a better points differential. Although participating in the Lancashire Senior Competition, Runcorn and Stockport were from Cheshire.

Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1 Broughton Rangers 26 19 5 2 201 52 +149 43
2 Oldham 26 20 2 4 243 59 +184 42
3 Tyldesley 26 15 2 9 159 80 +79 32
4 Runcorn 26 13 5 8 134 62 +72 31
5 Stockport 26 14 2 10 157 137 +20 30
6 Swinton 26 12 5 9 125 82 +43 29
7 Warrington 26 11 5 10 100 124 -24 27
8 Leigh 26 11 4 11 105 147 -42 26
9 St Helens 26 10 4 12 122 160 -38 24
10 Widnes 26 10 3 13 113 164 -51 23
11 Wigan 26 8 7 11 73 118 -45 23
12 Rochdale Hornets 26 8 1 17 121 167 -46 17
13 Salford 26 3 5 18 76 191 -115 11
14 Morecambe 26 3 0 23 52 238 -186 6
Champions

Source: R.L.Yearbook 1995–96 cited in "The Vault".
League points: for win = 2; for draw = 1; for loss = 0.
Pld = Games played; W = Wins; D = Draws; L = Losses; PF = Match points scored; PA = Match points conceded; PD = Points difference; Pts = League points.

Yorkshire Senior Competition[edit]

The previous season's champions, Manningham continued their good form in the Northern Union's second season, finishing in second place. However Brighouse took the Yorkshire championship with one win more than Manningham.

Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1 Brighouse Rangers 30 22 4 4 213 68 145 48
2 Manningham 30 21 4 5 291 129 162 46
3 Halifax 30 18 4 8 219 112 107 40
4 Hunslet 30 16 4 10 211 138 73 36
5 Hull 30 15 6 9 152 125 27 36
6 Batley 30 15 5 10 164 126 38 35
7 Bradford 30 15 3 12 170 157 13 33
8 Wakefield Trinity 30 13 4 13 172 154 18 30
9 Castleford 30 11 6 13 178 161 17 28
10 Huddersfield 30 10 7 13 142 179 -37 27
11 Liversedge 30 13 0 17 176 233 -57 26
12 Leeds 30 10 4 16 115 123 -8 24
13 Leeds Parish Church 30 9 4 17 129 162 -33 22
14 Bramley 30 9 3 18 101 193 -92 21
15 Holbeck 30 7 4 19 86 223 -137 18
16 Heckmondwike 30 3 4 23 72 308 -236 10
Champions

Source: R.L.Yearbook 1995–96 cited in "The Vault".
League points: for win = 2; for draw = 1; for loss = 0.
Pld = Games played; W = Wins; D = Draws; L = Losses; PF = Match points scored; PA = Match points conceded; PD = Points difference; Pts = League points.

Challenge Cup[edit]

Challenge cup 1897.jpg
Main article: 1897 Challenge Cup

The Northern Rugby Football Union's Challenge Cup tournament was instituted and commenced the week after the final round of the Yorkshire championship.

The first ever Challenge Cup final was to be contested by Yorkshire club Batley and Lancashire club St Helens on 24 April 1897 at Headingley, Leeds, in front of 13,492 people.[5] Batley claimed the new trophy for the first time, winning 10 - 3.[6]


References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Warrington Wolves. "The Northern Union". Warrington Wolves. Retrieved 2009-07-06. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Raymond Fletcher; David Howes (1995). Rothmans Rugby League Yearbook 1995-1996. London: Headline Book Publishing. p. 164. ISBN 0-7472-7817-2. 
  3. ^ "The History Of Rugby League". Rugby League Information. napit.co.uk. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "Salford first game". Salford City Reds Official Web Site, History page. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  5. ^ Ledger, John (30 March 2007). "Batley came marching in". Yorkshire Post (UK: Johnston Press Digital Publishing). Retrieved 16 October 2010. 
  6. ^ Baker, Andrew (1995-08-20). "100 years of rugby league: From the great divide to the Super era". Independent, The (independent.co.uk). Retrieved 2009-09-25. 

External links[edit]