1943–44 Northern Rugby Football League Wartime Emergency League season

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1943-44 Northern Rugby Football League Wartime Emergency League season
League Northern Rugby Football League Wartime Emergency League season
1943-44 Season
Champions Wakefield Trinity
Runner-up Wigan
< 1942-43 Seasons 1944-45 >

The 1943-44 Northern Rugby Football Union season was the fifth season of the rugby league’s 'Wartime Emergency League necessitated by the Second World War.
As in the previous (fourth) Wartime season, the clubs each played a different number of games, but this season clubs re-joined the league and there were now 16 of the original clubs taking part in the Competition (but still only Oldham, St Helens and Wigan from west of the Pennines).
The League remained as one single amalgamated Championship.

General Comments[edit]

Season summary[edit]


The 1943-44 season began on Saturday 4 September 1943.
As in the previous season, there are still only the three Lancashire clubs who have not had to close down and withdrawn from the League. The Northern Rugby League continued with a single (now) 16 club single Competition. As the clubs are still playing different number of marches, the league positions and the title would be decided on a percentage basis...
At the completion of the regular season Wakefield Trinity were on top of the league on both points and percentage success (with 38 points from 22 games and a percentage success of 86.36%) and Wigan were second (34 points from 21 games @ 80.95%).
Hunslet and Barrow finished a mid-table 8th and 9th respectively in their first season back after an earlier withdrawal.
St Helens, for the second consecutive season, finished bottom (16th out of the 16 clubs) with only 1 wins from 21 and 2 points.
Wigan beat Dewsbury 25-14 on aggregate in the two legged play-off final.[1] and win the Championship (for the second consecutive season).
The Wartime Emergency League did not count as an official league championship.
In the Final of the Rugby league Challenge Cup, Bradford Northern beat Wigan 8-3 on aggregate over two legs in front of an aggregate crowd of 52,000.
The Lancashire Cup, suspended for season 1940-41 remained so for the rest of the war and again Wigan competed in the Yorkshire Cup.
In the Final of the Yorkshire County Cup, Bradford Northern beat Keighley in two low scoring legs by 10-7 on aggregate before an aggregate crowd of 19,244.

Change in Club participation[edit]

Previous withdrawals[edit]


The following clubs had withdrawn from the League, before this 1943-44 seasons completion began :- St Helens Recs – who folded before the war started
Hull Kingston Rovers – who withdrew after the end of the first (1939-40) season finished and did not re-join until the 1945-46 season.
Rochdale Hornets – As Hull Kingston Rovers.
Widnes – As Hull Kingston Rovers.
Broughton Rangers – withdrew after the end of the second 1940-41 season finished and did not re-join until the 1945-46 season.
Liverpool Stanley – As Broughton Rangers.
Salford – As Broughton Rangers.
Swinton – As Broughton Rangers.
Warrington – As Broughton Rangers.
Leigh - During the Second World War, the club was forced to leave its ground as the adjacent cable factory extended onto the land. The townsfolk of Leigh, acting on chairman James Hilton's inspiration, cleared some fields on the edge of the town, and built a new stadium, including moving and rebuilding the old grandstand from the original ground. -
In 1941–42, Leigh quit the wartime Lancashire league and would not return to the league until 1946–47 when they played as a temporary measure at the Athletic Ground, Holden Road before moving to Kirkhall Lane (which was later officially renamed Hilton Park after James Hilton. -
Bramley – withdrew after the end of the third 1941-42 season finished and did not re-join until the 1945-46 season.
Castleford – withdrew after the end of the third 1941-42 season finished and did not participate for two seasons, re-joining for the 1944-45 season.

New withdrawals[edit]


There were no more new withdrawals

Clubs Re-joining[edit]


Barrow – had withdrawn after the end of the first (1939-40) season finished.
They had competed in the Challenge Cup competition at the end of last season and now re-joined for this 1944-45 season.
Hunslet – had withdrawn after the end of the third 1941-42 season finished, also, re-joining for this 1944-45 season.

Special Note[edit]


Dewsbury had a relatively successful time during the war years. Managed by Eddie Waring, and with the side boosted by the inclusion of a number of big-name guest players, the club won the Wartime Emergency League in 1941-42 and again the following season 1942-43 (though that championship was declared null and void when it was discovered they had played an ineligible player). They were also runners-up in the Championship in 1943-44, Challenge Cup winners in 1942-43 and Yorkshire Cup final appearances in this season 1940-41 and winners in 1942-43.

Championship[edit]


Team P W D L PF PA diff Pts % Note ref
1 Wakefield Trinity 22 19 0 3 359 97 262 38
2 Wigan 21 17 0 4 302 141 161 34
3 Hull 21 15 0 6 236 189 47 30
4 Dewsbury 22 15 1 6 304 169 135 31
5 Halifax 22 15 0 7 279 166 113 30
6 Bradford Northern 19 11 1 7 292 125 167 23
7 Leeds 21 12 1 8 262 252 10 25
8 Hunslet 22 12 0 10 287 245 42 24
9 Barrow 22 11 0 11 315 199 116 22
10 Keighley 21 9 0 12 151 216 -65 18
11 Featherstone Rovers 21 7 1 13 223 230 -7 15
12 Oldham 21 7 0 14 137 371 -234 14
13 Featherstone Rovers 22 6 0 16 202 229 -27 12
14 Batley 21 5 1 15 176 299 -123 11
15 York 22 5 1 16 196 470 -274 11
16 St Helens 20 1 0 19 123 446 -323 2

Heading Abbreviations
RL = Single Division; Pl = Games Played: W = Win; D = Draw; L = Lose; PF = Points For; PA = Points Against; Diff = Points Difference (+ or -); Pts = League Points
% Pts = A percentage system was used to determine league positions due to clubs playing varying number of fixtures and against different opponents
League points: for win = 2; for draw = 1; for loss = 0.

Championship Play-Off[edit]

Championship Play-Off:
Semifinals:

Final (two legs):

Trophies[edit]

Challenge Cup[edit]


The Challenge Cup Competition had been suspended for season 1939-40, but after being re-introduced for the following season 1940-41 continued again this season.
Each round including the final was played in two legs on a home and away basis

Below are given some of the fixtures and results from this year’s Challenge Cup competition. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] .[7]

Date Stage Home Team score Away Team Venue agg att rcts Note ref
1st Round
CC R1 1st leg Sat 11-03-1944 Oldham 5-8 Wigan Watersheddings [3]
CC R1 1st leg Sat 11-03-1944 Dewsbury 43-7 St Helens Crown Flatt [2]
CC R1 1st leg Sat 11-03-1944 Huddersfield 13-0 Hull Fartown [4]
CC R1 2nd leg Sat 18-03-1944 Wigan 25-3 Oldham Central Park 33-8 [3]
CC R1 2nd leg 18-03-1944 St Helens 15-33 Dewsbury Central Park 76-22 [2]
CC R1 2nd leg 18-03-1944 Hull 5-0 Huddersfield Boulevard 5-13 [4]
2nd Round
CC R2 1st leg 25-03-1944 Wigan 14-3 Dewsbury Central Park [3]
CC R2 1st Leg Sat 25-03-1944 Keighley Lost to Bradford Northern Lawkholme Ln [8]
CC R2 2nd leg 01-04-1944 Dewsbury 2-11 Wigan Crown Flatt 5-25 [3]
CC R2 2nd Leg Sat 01-04-1944 Bradford Northern beat Keighley Odsal Won [8]
Semi-Final
CC SF 1st leg -- Leeds 10-5 Wigan Headingley [3]
CC SF 2nd leg 10-04-1944 Wigan 11-4 Leeds Central Park 16-14 [3]
Final
CC F 1st leg 15-04-1944 Wigan 3-0 Bradford Northern Central Park 22,000 £1,640.0.0 [3]
CC F 2nd leg 22-04-1944 Bradford Northern 8-0 Wigan Odsal 8-3 30,000 2,200.0.0 [3]
Bradford Northern are winners of the Challenge Cup

In the Final of the Rugby league Challenge Cup, Bradford Northern beat Wigan 8-3 on aggregate over two legs in front of an aggregate crowd of 52,000.

Lancashire Cup[edit]


The Lancashire Cup, suspended for season 1940-41 remained so for the rest of the war and again Wigan competed in the Yorkshire Cup.

Yorkshire Cup[edit]


Below are given some of the fixtures and results from this year’s Yorkshire Cup competition.

Date Stage Home Team score Away Team Venue agg att rcts Note ref
1st Round
YC R1 1st leg 16-10-1943 Hull 6-12 Huddersfield Boulevard [4]
YC R1 1st leg 16-10-1943 St Helens 9-14 Wigan Knowsley Rd 2,000 [3]
YC R1 2nd leg 23-10-1943 Huddersfield 20-2 Hull Fartown 26-14 [4]
YC R1 2nd leg 23-10-1943 Wigan 20-10 St Helens Central Park 34-19 4,288 [3]
2nd Round
YC R2 1st leg 30-10-1943 Barrow 17-8 Wigan Barrow [3]
YC R2 2nd leg 06-11-1943 Wigan 10-7 Barrow Central Park 24-18 [3]
Semi-Final
YC SF 1st Leg Sat 13-11-1943 Keighley 21-0 Huddersfield Lawkholme Ln [8]
YC SF 2nd Leg Sat 20-11-1943 Huddersfield 13-4 Keighley Fartown 13-25 [8]
Final
YC F 1st leg 00-11-1943 Bradford Northern 5-2 Keighley Odsal 10,251 £757.0.0 [7]
YC F 2nd leg 01-11-1943 Keighley 5-5 Bradford Northern Odsal 7-10 8,487 £694.0.0 1 [7]
Bradford Northern are winners of Yorkshire Cup

In the Final of the Yorkshire County Cup, Bradford Northern beat Keighley in two low scoring legs by 10-7 on aggregate before an aggregate crowd of 18,741.

Notes and Comments[edit]


1 - Keighley's highest wartime attendance[8]

See also[edit]

British rugby league system
1939–40 Northern Rugby Football League Wartime Emergency League season
1940-41 Northern Rugby Football League Wartime Emergency League season
1941-42 Northern Rugby Football League Wartime Emergency League season
1942-43 Northern Rugby Football League Wartime Emergency League season
1943-44 Northern Rugby Football League Wartime Emergency League season
1944-45 Northern Rugby Football League Wartime Emergency League season
The Great Schism – Rugby League View
The Great Schism – Rugby Union View
List of defunct rugby league clubs
Dewsbury
St Helens Recreation

References[edit]


  1. ^ "Wigan Warriors Rugby League Fan Site". Retrieved 5 November 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "Saints Heritage Society". 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Cherry and white". 
  4. ^ a b c d e <"Hull&Proud". 
  5. ^ "Widnes Vikings - One team, one passion Season In Review". 
  6. ^ "Warrington History". 
  7. ^ a b c Raymond Fletcher and David Howes (1990). Rothmans Rugby League Yearbook 1990-91. Queen Anne Press. ISBN 0-356-17851-X. 
  8. ^ a b c d e "Keighley Cougars". 

External links[edit]