1948–49 Challenge Cup

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1948–49 Challenge Cup
Duration 5 rounds
Number of teams 32
Winners Bullscolours.svg Bradford Northern
Runners-up Faxcolours.svg Halifax

The 1948–49 Challenge Cup was the 48th staging of rugby league's oldest knockout competition, the Challenge Cup.[1]

The 29 clubs of the rugby league were joined in the competition by three junior clubs, one each from Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cumberland; respectively these junior clubs were Normanton, Vine Tavern and Broughton Moor.

First round[edit]

The first round ties were two-legged and were to be played on consecutive weekends in February 1949. The draw was made on 17 January 1949.[2] The tie between Vine Tavern and York was drawn to have the leg at York played first but the clubs agreed to reverse the tie to enable Vine Tavern to play their home leg Knowsley Road, home of nearby St. Helens.[3] Featherstone's tie with Swinton should have had the first leg played at Featherstone. However Featherstone invoked their right under the competition rules as the first drawn club to decide where the first leg would be played and insisted that it was played at Swinton to avoid clashes with the home ties of neighbouring clubs, Normanton and Castleford, this was despite Swinton's opposition to the switch.[4]

The first leg ties were played on Saturday 12 February.

Home Score Away Referee[5]
Bradford Northern 3–4 St. Helens G. S. Phillips
Castleford 10–2 Bramley C. F. Appleton
Dewsbury 9–6 Barrow N. T. Railton
Swinton 15–2 Featherstone Rovers H. Holland
Huddersfield 4–5 Rochdale Hornets T. E. Rees
Hull F.C. 4–0 Halifax P. Cowell
Hunslet 22–0 Salford F. Smith
Leeds 16–2 Batley W. Stockley
Liverpool Stanley 3–32 Wakefield Trinity T. W. Hemmings
Normanton 4–9 Belle Vue Rangers R. S. Abram
Oldham 30–0 Broughton Moor F. Cotton
Warrington 17–7 Hull Kingston Rovers L. Thorpe
Whitehaven 0–0 Keighley H. Squires
Wigan 11–12 Leigh A. S. Dobson
Workington Town 6–7 Widnes A. Hill
Vine Tavern 4–11 York D. Halliday
Source:[6]

The second leg ties were played on Saturday 19 February.

Home Score Away Referee[5] Aggregate score
St. Helens 0–5 Bradford Northern A. S. Dobson 4–8
Bramley 2–10 Castleford P. Cowell 4–20
Barrow 13–9 Dewsbury W. Hemmings 19–18
Featherstone Rovers 13–10 Swinton R. L. Thorpe 15–25
Rochdale Hornets 0–11 Huddersfield F. Cottam 5–15
Halifax 10–0 Hull F.C. G. S. Phillips 10–4
Salford 11–10 Hunslet A. Howgate 11–32
Batley 4–7 Leeds C. F. Appleton 6–23
Wakefield Trinity 41–12 Liverpool Stanley S. W. Stockley 73–15
Belle Vue Rangers 12–0 Normanton T. Armitage 21–4
Broughton Moor 2–35 Oldham L. J. Dalby 2–65
Hull Kingston Rovers 5–28 Warrington N. T. Railton 12–45
Keighley 19–9 Whitehaven F. Smith 19–9
Leigh 4–5 Wigan A. Hill 16–16
Widnes 0–10 Workington Town S. Adams 7–16
York 17–3 Vine Tavern B. Lister 28–7
Source:[7]

The tie between Leigh and Wigan ended in controversy. In January the cup committee recommended that ties ending with the scores level should play 20 minutes of extra time (10 minutes each way) with a replay only being required if the scores remained tied after this period.[8] This recommendation as accepted by the Rugby League Council but was not, officially, made known to referees. Therefore at the end of the second leg the referee in the Leigh v Wigan tie, Alfred Hill, ended the game after 80 minutes and did not play any extra time.[9] The second leg was declared null and void by the Rugby League Council and a replay ordered for the following Saturday at a neutral venue, Swinton's Station Road with only the score from the first leg being taken forward into the replay.[10]

The replay, refereed by W. Hemmings,[11] was won 10–4 by Wigan who therefore went forward to the second round 21–16 on aggregate.[12]

Second round[edit]

The second round draw was made on 21 February 1949 with ties to be played on Saturday 5 March.[13] On the day the game between Wigan and Wakefield was postponed due to snowfall and was played the following Wednesday, 9 March, instead.[14]

Home Score Away Referee[15]
Barrow 13–2 Keighley
Belle Vue Rangers 8–3 Warrington A. S. Dobson
Bradford Northern 11–5 Castleford F. Smith
Halifax 5–0 Swinton W. Stockley
Huddersfield 3–0 Workington Town C. F. Appleton
Leeds 14–8 Hunslet P. Cowll
York 3–4 Oldham G. S. Phillips
Wigan 37–2 Wakefield Trinity S. Adams
Source:[16][17]

Third round[edit]

The draw for the third round was made on 7 March with ties to be played on Saturday 19 March.[18]

Home Score Away Referee[19]
Barrow 8–7 Wigan M. Coates
Bradford Northern 8–7 Belle Vue Rangers G. S. Phillips
Leeds 9–20 Huddersfield C. F. Appleton
Oldham 2–7 Halifax A. S. Dobson
Source:[20]

Semi-finals[edit]

The semi-final draw was made on 21 March with neutral venues being announced immediately after the completion of the draw, the ties were played on 2 April.[21]

Home Score Away Venue Referee[21]
Bradford Northern 10–0 Barrow Station Road, Swinton A. S. Dobson
Halifax 11–10 Huddersfield Odsal Stadium, Bradford G. S. Phillips
Source:[22][23]

Final[edit]

The Challenge Cup tournament's final was to be played by Bradford and Halifax at Wembley Stadium. Bradford won the game 12–0 in the final played in front of a world record rugby league crowd of 95,000.[24] Trevor Foster and Eric Batten scored the tries for Bradford and Ernest Ward kicked three goals as well as winning the Lance Todd Trophy for man-of-the-match.[25]

This was Bradford’s fourth Cup Final win in seven final appearances including one win and one loss during World War II.[26]

7 May 1949
3:00pm
Bradford Northern 12 – 0 Halifax
Tries Batten, Foster
Goals E. Ward (3)
Report[27]
Wembley, London
Attendance: 95,000
Referee: G. S. Phillips (Widnes)
Man of the Match: Ernest Ward
Bradford Northern Position Halifax
Billy Leake FB Denis Chalkley
Eric Batten WG Arthur Daniels
Jack Kitching CE Gareth Price (c)
Ernest Ward (c) CE Paddy Reid
Alan Edwards WG Enoka Macdonald
Willie Davies SO George Kenny
Donald Ward SH Stan Kielty
Frank Whitcombe PR Jack Rothwell
Vic Darlison HK Alvin Ackerley
Ron Greaves PR Michael Condon
Barry Tyler SR Jack Pansegrouw
Trevor Foster SR Desmond Healy
Ken Traill LF Frank Mawson
Dai Rees Coach Arthur Atkinson

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Challenge Cup 1948/49". Rugby League Project. 
  2. ^ "Cup draw keeps Rugby League giants apart"Paid subscription required. Yorkshire Post (31,635). 18 January 1949. p. 3 – via British Newspaper Archive. 
  3. ^ "Cuptie reversed"Paid subscription required. Hull Daily Mail (19,709). 20 January 1949. p. 6 – via British Newspaper Archive. 
  4. ^ "Swinton dislike Featherstone's "Fast One""Paid subscription required. Yorkshire Post (31,649). 3 February 1949. p. 3 – via British Newspaper Archive. 
  5. ^ a b "Referees for Rugby League Cup games"Paid subscription required. Yorkshire Evening Post (18,161). 19 January 1949. p. 8 – via British Newspaper Archive. 
  6. ^ "Rugby League Cup - First Round, First leg"Paid subscription required. Yorkshire Post (31,658). 14 February 1949. p. 3 – via British Newspaper Archive. 
  7. ^ "Rugby League Cup - First Round, Second Leg"Paid subscription required. Yorkshire Post (31,664). 21 February 1949. p. 3 – via British Newspaper Archive. 
  8. ^ "Saturday R.L. cup replays"Paid subscription required. Yorkshire Evening Post (18,156). 13 January 1949. p. 14 – via British Newspaper Archive. 
  9. ^ "R.L. Cup replay decision causes a protest"Paid subscription required. Yorkshire Post (31,664). 21 February 1949. p. 3 – via British Newspaper Archive. 
  10. ^ "Wigan—Leigh cup-tie: last night's surprise"Paid subscription required. Yorkshire Post (31,665). 22 February 1949. p. 3 – via British Newspaper Archive. 
  11. ^ "Wigan-Leigh protest"Paid subscription required. Yorkshire Evening Post (18,190). 22 February 1949. p. 12 – via British Newspaper Archive. 
  12. ^ "Narrow escape for Wigan"Paid subscription required. Yorkshire Post (31,670). 28 February 1949. p. 3 – via British Newspaper Archive. 
  13. ^ "Leeds at home to Hunslet in Rugby League Cup: Yorkshire clubs favoured in second round draw"Paid subscription required. Yorkshire Evening Post (18,189). 21 February 1949. p. 8 – via British Newspaper Archive. 
  14. ^ "Will Trinity object to midweek cup-tie?"Paid subscription required. Yorkshire Post (31,676). 7 March 1949. p. 3 – via British Newspaper Archive. 
  15. ^ "Referees for round two"Paid subscription required. Yorkshire Evening Post (18,190). 22 February 1949. p. 12 – via British Newspaper Archive. 
  16. ^ "Rugby League Cup - Second Round"Paid subscription required. Yorkshire Post (31,676). 7 March 1949. p. 3 – via British Newspaper Archive. 
  17. ^ "Trinity's heaviest-ever Cup defeat"Paid subscription required. Yorkshire Post (31,679). 10 March 1949. p. 3 – via British Newspaper Archive. 
  18. ^ "Rugby League Cup Draw"Paid subscription required. Hull Daily Mail (19,748). 7 March 1949. p. 4 – via British Newspaper Archive. 
  19. ^ "Pudsey League referee's advance"Paid subscription required. Yorkshire Evening Post (18,203). 9 March 1949. p. 8 – via British Newspaper Archive. 
  20. ^ "Rugby League Cup (Third Round)"Paid subscription required. Coventry Evening Telegraph (18,011). 19 March 1949. p. 19 – via British Newspaper Archive. 
  21. ^ a b "Huddersfield to meet Halifax in Cup semi-final"Paid subscription required. Yorkshire Evening Post (18,213). 21 March 1949. p. 8 – via British Newspaper Archive. 
  22. ^ "Ernest Ward again"Paid subscription required. Yorkshire Post (31,700). 4 April 1949. p. 3 – via British Newspaper Archive. 
  23. ^ "Halifax never gave up"Paid subscription required. Yorkshire Post (31,700). 4 April 1949. p. 3 – via British Newspaper Archive. 
  24. ^ "Tom Goodman's League Column". The Sydney Morning Herald. 4 May 1950. p. 9. 
  25. ^ "Ernest Ward star of the Cup Final"Paid subscription required. Yorkshire Post (31,729). 9 May 1949. p. 3 – via British Newspaper Archive. 
  26. ^ "RFL All Time Records". Archived from the original on 16 September 2009. Retrieved 7 August 2009. 
  27. ^ "Bradford Northern win League Cup"Paid subscription required. The Times (51,376). 9 May 1949. p. 6.