1940–41 Northern Rugby Football League Wartime Emergency League season

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1940–41 Northern Rugby Football League Wartime Emergency League season
League Northern Rugby League Wartime Emergency League
1940–41 Season
Lancashire League Champions Wigan
Yorkshire League Champions Bradford Northern
< 1939–40 Seasons 1941–42 >

The 1940–41 Northern Rugby Football Union season was the second season of the rugby league’s Wartime Emergency League necessitated by the Second World War.
In this second Wartime season, the clubs each played a different number of games and several clubs dropped out.

General Comments[edit]

Season summary[edit]

The 1939–40 season began on Saturday 7 September 1940, less than three months after the fall of France and the other Western Allies, and the Dunkirk evacuations.

The Northern Rugby League decided to continue with a similar format of the two regional (Lancashire and Yorkshire), Wartime Emergency Leagues, with the winner of each league meeting in a play-off final to decide the overall winner.

In the Yorkshire League Bradford Northern finished the regular season on top of the league (47 points from 25 games), clear leaders by 7 points, even after playing a game less than second place Hull (40 points from 26 games) and seventeen points clear of 3rd place Huddersfield (30 points from 25 games).

Meanwhile in the depleted Lancashire League Wigan (a magnificent 31 points from 16 matches) beat second placed Warrington by 5 points.

Bradford Northern went on to defeat Wigan 45–15 (on aggregate) in the two legged play-off final.[1] and win the Championship (for the second consecutive season)

The Wartime Emergency Leagues did not count as an official league championship.

In the Final of the Challenge Cup, Leeds beat Halifax at Odsal by 15–10 before a crowd of 15,250.

The Lancashire Cup, was suspended for the rest of the war and so Wigan competed in the Yorkshire Cup.

Bradford Northern beat Dewsbury at Fartown Ground, Huddersfield, before a crowd of 13,316 by a score of 15–5 to win the Yorkshire Cup.

Change in Club participation[edit]

In addition to St Helens Recs, several other clubs withdrew from the competitions :-

Barrow – The club dropped out of the wartime Lancashire league after the ‘first (1939–40) season. They did not return to league competition until 1943–44. As many of the pre-war ‘players had retired, this return began an era of rebuilding and recruiting.
Hull Kingston Rovers – The club dropped out of the wartime Lancashire league after the ‘first (1939–40) season. They did not return to league competition until 1945–46 peacetime season.
Rochdale Hornets – Hornets dropped out of the wartime Lancashire League, their last match ‘a 12–4 defeat against Salford at the Athletic Grounds on 11 May 1940. ‘The ground stood empty for the duration of hostilities and after the war, an appeal went out ‘to supporters in July 1945 for help in renovating the ground, pitch and ‘premises so that ‘rugby league could restart.
Widnes – As Barrow and Hull Kingston Rovers, Widnes dropped out of the wartime Lancashire league after (1939–40) season and did not return to league competition until 1945–46.

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.

Records[edit]

Broughton Rangers and Leigh joined the ranks of the clubs with the unenviable record of losing every league match during the season.
Both clubs withdrew from competitions for the following seasons.
A full list to date of all clubs with this record is as follows :-

Lost all league matches in a season
Club season League Cup Notes Ref
Broughton Rangers 1940–41 10 War Lancashire League 1 Cup-tie [2]
Leigh 1940–41 13 War Lancashire League 1 Cup-tie [2]
Other clubs with the same equal record
Liverpool City 1906–07 30** League 2 Cup-ties ** [2]
Bramley 1941–42 19 War Emergency League 4 Cup-ties [2]
Runcorn Highfield 1989–90 28 Division Two 3 Cup-ties [2]
Nottingham City 1991–92 26 Division Three 3 Cup-ties [2]
** Also lost to Pontefract, but this match was expunged from League records after Pontefract disbanded [2]
** Also drew against Bramley but this was expunged from the records as the return match was cancelled [2]

Bramley would join them as holder of this record in the season which followed 1941–42

Yorkshire Section[edit]

Team P W D L PF PA diff Pts % Note ref
1 Bradford Northern 25 23 1 1 469 126 343 47
2 Hull 26 20 0 6 341 227 114 40
3 Huddersfield 25 14 2 9 422 297 125 30
4 Leeds 25 14 1 10 372 235 137 29
5 Halifax 22 14 0 8 357 229 128 28
6 Hunslet 25 14 0 11 328 279 49 28
7 Featherstone Rovers 24 14 0 10 255 255 0 28
8 Wakefield Trinity 23 12 0 11 237 214 23 24
9 Castleford 24 11 0 13 224 239 −15 22
10 Dewsbury 23 6 2 15 238 301 −63 14
11 Keighley 26 5 1 20 200 447 −247 11
12 Bramley 21 5 1 15 129 364 −235 11
13 York 23 5 0 18 227 388 −161 10
14 Batley 20 5 0 15 148 344 −196 10

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.

Lancashire Section[edit]

Team P W D L PF PA diff Pts % Note ref
1 Wigan 16 15 1 0 297 71 226 31
2 Warrington 16 13 0 3 236 42 194 26
3 St Helens 14 10 1 3 280 83 197 21
4 Salford 14 9 0 5 216 95 121 18
5 Oldham 16 6 1 9 161 205 −44 13
6 Swinton 13 6 0 7 121 132 −11 12
7 Liverpool Stanley 14 2 1 11 147 270 −123 5
8 Broughton Rangers 10 0 0 10 71 247 −176 0
9 Leigh 13 0 0 13 62 446 −384 0

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]

1st leg – Wigan lost to Bradford Northern 6–17 at Central Park – att 11,245 & rece3ipts £640.0.0.[3]

2nd leg – Bradford Northern beat Wigan 28–9 at Odsal – att 20,205 & receipts £1,148.0.0.[3]

Champions – Bradford Northern won 45–15 on aggregate

Trophies[edit]

Challenge Cup[edit]

The Challenge Cup Competition was re-introduced after a season’s absence

Some of the fixtures and results are as follows :- [1] [4] [5] [3] [6] [7]

In the 1st round, on Saturday 19 April 1941, Batley beat Hull at Mount Pleasant 9–8.[5]

In the 2nd round, on Wednesday 19 March 1941, Wakefield Trinity beat Wigan[1] at Belle Vue 22–0 and on Saturday 16 March 1941, Castleford beat St Helens[4] 21–13 at Wheldon Road.

In the Final of the Challenge Cup, Leeds beat Halifax at Odsal by 19–2 before a crowd of 28,500.[3]

Lancashire Cup[edit]

The Lancashire Cup was suspended for this season for the duration of the war.

Wigan took part in the Yorkshire Cup Competition

Yorkshire Cup[edit]

Some of the fixtures and results are as follows :-

In the 1st round, on Saturday 15 March 1941, York beat Hull[5] at Boulevard 22–15 and Leeds beat Wigan[1] at Central Park 9–3.

In the Final of the Yorkshire County Cup, Bradford Northern beat Dewsbury at Fartown by 15–5 before a crowd of 13,316 and with receipts of £939.00.[3]

Notes and comments[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Cherry and white". 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "RFL all time records". 
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ a b "Saints Heritage Society". 
  5. ^ a b c <"Hull&Proud". 
  6. ^ "Widnes Vikings – One team, one passion Season In Review". 
  7. ^ "Warrington History". 

External links[edit]