1944–45 Northern Rugby Football League Wartime Emergency League season

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1944-45 Northern Rugby Football League Wartime Emergency League season
League Northern Rugby Football League Wartime Emergency League season
1944-45 Season
Champions Bradford Northern
Runner-up Halifax
< 1943-44 Seasons 1945-46 >

The 1944-45 Northern Rugby Football Union season was the sixth (and would be the last) season of the rugby league’s Wartime Emergency League necessitated by the Second World War.
As in the previous (fifth) Wartime season, the clubs each played a different number of games, but this season clubs re-joined the league and there were now 17 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 1944-45 season began on Saturday 2 September 1944.
As in the previous season, there are still only the three Lancashire clubs who have not had to close down and withdrawn from the League.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) 17 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 Bradford Northern were on top of the league on the percentage success (with 34 points from 20 games and a percentage success of 85.00%) with Halifax second (27 points from 16 games @ 84.38%).
Last season’s League Leaders Wakefield Trinity although with the same number of points as Bradford Northern had played more games and finished in third position with 34 points from 23 games – percentage success 73.91%
Wigan finished with one point more than Bradford Northern but had played 4 more games and finished fourth (with a record of played 24 points 35 points and 72.92%)
Castleford finished in a creditable 6th position in their first season back after an earlier withdrawal.
St Helens, for the third consecutive season, finished (this time joint with York.) bottom (16th out of the 17 clubs) with only 9 points from 23 games and with a points difference of (minus) -217. The two clubs had almost identical records – but St Helens avoided the wooden spoon as they had a better points record than York (points difference (minus)-273). .
Bradford Northern beat Halifax 26-20 on aggregate in the two legged play-off final.[1] and win the Championship..
The Wartime Emergency League did not count as an official league championship.
In the Final of the Rugby league Challenge Cup, Huddersfield beat Bradford Northern 13-9 on aggregate over two legs in front of an aggregate crowd of 26,541.
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, Halifax beat Hunslet by 14-3 on aggregate in two low scoring legs before an aggregate crowd of 20,800.

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.

New withdrawals[edit]


There were no more new withdrawals

Clubs Re-joining[edit]


Castleford – had withdrawn after the end of the third 1941-42 season finished and did not participate for two seasons, now re-joined for this 1944-45 season.
Barrow and Hunslet who had re-joined the previous season, continued.

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 1943 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 Bradford Northern 20 17 0 3 337 69 268 34 85.00
2 Halifax 16 13 1 2 288 78 210 27 84.38
3 Wakefield Trinity 23 17 0 6 380 203 177 34 73.91
4 Wigan 24 17 1 6 302 138 164 35 72.92
5 Barrow 23 15 1 7 221 167 54 31 67.39
6 Castleford 23 14 2 7 274 139 135 30 66.22
7 Dewsbury 22 11 1 10 243 213 30 23 52.27
8 Batley 22 10 2 10 186 241 -55 22 50.00
9 Huddersfield 24 8 6 10 281 252 29 22 45.83
10 Leeds 23 9 2 12 221 236 -15 20 43.48
11 Hunslet 21 7 2 12 164 245 -81 16 38.10
12 Hull 23 8 1 14 193 281 -88 17 36.96
13 Oldham 23 8 1 14 189 282 -93 17 36.96
14 Featherstone Rovers 22 8 0 14 153 229 -76 16 36.36
15 Keighley 21 7 0 14 114 283 -169 14 33.33
16 St Helens 23 4 1 18 177 394 -217 9 19.57
17 York 23 4 1 18 153 426 -273 9 19.57

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 17-03-1945 Hull 13-18 Dewsbury Boulevard [4]
CC R1 1st leg Sat 17-05-1945 St Helens 8-15 Bradford Northern Knowsley Rd [2]
CC R1 2nd leg Sat 24-03-1945 Dewsbury 23-9 Hull Crown Flatt 41-22 [4]
CC R1 2nd leg Sat 24-03-1945 Bradford Northern 34-13 St Helens Odsal 49-21 [2]
2nd Round
CC R2 1st leg Sat 17-03-1945 Halifax 10-11 Wigan Thrum Hall Lost [3]
CC R2 2nd leg Sat 24-03-1945 Wigan 6-21 Halifax Central Park 17-31 [3]
3rd Round
CC R3 1st leg Keighley 5-0 Bradford Northern Lawkholme Ln [8]
CC R3 2nd leg Bradford Northern 35-3 Keighley Odsal 35-8 [8]
Final
CC F 1st leg --?? Huddersfield 7-4 Bradford Northern Fartown 9,041 £1,184.3.7 [7]
CC F 2nd leg --?? Bradford Northern 5-6 Huddersfield Odsal 9-13 17,500 £2,050.0.0 [7]
Huddersfield are winners of the Challenge Cup

In the Final of the Rugby league Challenge Cup, Huddersfield beat Bradford Northern 13-9 on aggregate over two legs in front of an aggregate crowd of 26,541.

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 -- Huddersfield 23-19 Hull Fartown [4]
YC R1 1st leg 21-10-1944 Oldham 5-18 Wigan Watersheddings [3]
YC R1 1st leg 21-10-1944 St Helens 8-22 Barrow Knowsley Rd [2]
YC R1 2nd leg 28-10-1944 Hull 21-2 Huddersfield Boulevard 40-25 [4]
YC R1 2nd leg 28-10-1944 Wigan 39-2 Oldham Central Park 57-7 [3]
YC R1 2nd leg 28-10-1644 Barrow 21-8 St Helens Craven Park 43-16 [2]
2nd Round
YC R2 1st leg 04-11-1944 Dewsbury 0-0 Hull Crown Flatt [4]
YC R2 1st leg 04-11-1944 Wigan 9-5 Barrow Central Park [3]
YC R2 2nd leg 11-11-1944 Hull 5-7 Dewsbury Boulevard 5-7 [4]
YC R2 2nd leg 11-11-1944 Barrow 5-2 Wigan Craven Park 10-11 [3]
Semi-Final
YC SF 1st leg 18-11-1944 Wigan 5-6 Halifax Central Park [3]
YC SF 2nd leg 25-11-1944 Halifax 9-7 Wigan Thrum Hall 15-12 [3]
Final
YC F 1st leg --?? Hunslet 3-12 Halifax Parkside 11,000 744 [7]
YC F 2nd leg --?? Halifax 0-2 Hunslet Thrum Hall 14-3 9,800 745 [7]
Halifax are winners of Yorkshire Cup

In the Final of the Yorkshire County Cup, Halifax beat Hunslet in two low scoring legs by 14-3 on aggregate before an aggregate crowd of 20,800.

Notes and Comments[edit]

Note on the first peacetime league programme which would take place in 1945-46[edit]


With the ending of the hostilities in Europe in May 1945 and the Far East in September 1945, a full league programme commences.
All of the clubs who took part in the last peacetime competition in 1938-39 re-joined the league with the exceptions of :-
St Helens Recs – who folded before the war started.
Leigh – who had lost their ground and would not re-join for a further season until 1946-47

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

External links[edit]