Rugby league county leagues
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (June 2012)|
The Yorkshire League and the Lancashire League formed two sections of the Rugby Football League Championship for much of its history. Initially, the 22 clubs that broke away in 1895 played in one combined league, however the following season saw the addition of many clubs, and the League was split into two separate county competitions.
This situation endured until 1901-02, when the top teams in each league resigned and formed a new combined first division. The following season, the remaining clubs formed a second division. From then until 1907, when there was another re-organisation, the county leagues were not played.
The new structure initiated for the 1907-8 season saw the clubs playing every other team in their own county home and away, and playing once each against the clubs from the other county. Results from all games counted towards the Rugby Football League Championship, whilst results within the county counted towards the respective county leagues.
The championship often included teams from outside the Yorkshire and Lancashire heartlands; these were allocated to a county league on a practical basis. Briefly, in the 1908-09 season, there were enough clubs from Wales to add a third Welsh League to the structure. The sole winner of this title was Merthyr Tydfil.
The Yorkshire and Lancashire Leagues were abandoned in 1970.
Number of Championship Titles
|Wins||Lancashire League||Yorkshire League|
|Hull Kingston Rovers|
|1||Liverpool Stanley||Bradford Northern|
|Rochdale Hornets||Brighouse Rovers|
|St Helens Recs||Manningham|
- During the period 1896-1901 the county leagues were titled senior competitions. There was no national league championship during this period.
- For the 1901-02 season the top teams from each senior competition resigned to form a single league championship. The lower clubs continued to contest separate county leagues for that year only.
- During the 1962-63 and 1963-64 two division campaigns the county leagues were officially retitled Eastern and Western divisions.