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1965–66 Northern Rugby Football League season

The 1965–66 Rugby Football League season was the 71st season of rugby league football. A three-way county championship was also held, with comparative minnows Cumberland against Yorkshire and Lancashire.

1965–66 Rugby Football League season
LeagueNorthern Rugby Football League
ChampionsSaintscolours.svg St. Helens
League LeadersSaintscolours.svg St. Helens
Top point-scorer(s)Saintscolours.svg Len Killeen 336
Top try-scorer(s)Saintscolours.svg Len Killeen 32
Wigancolours.svg Trevor Lake 32
Seasons

Rule changeEdit

  • The substitutes rule introduced in the previous season changed so that substitutions could be used for any reason, including tactical reasons, although they were still only allowed up to and including half-time.[1]

Season summaryEdit

The BBC2 Floodlit Trophy competition was launched in this season with the BBC televising matches on Tuesday nights. The competition was used to trial the four-tackle rule, an experiment in ending the unlimited tackles that had been a by-product from the introduction of the play-the-ball in 1906.[1][2]

St.Helens finished the regular season as league leaders before winning their fourth Championship when they beat Halifax 35-12 in the play-off final.

The Challenge Cup winners were St.Helens who beat Wigan 21-2 in the final.

The BBC2 Floodlit Trophy winners were Castleford who beat St.Helens 4-0 in the final.[3]

St.Helens won the Lancashire League, and Leeds won the Yorkshire League. Warrington beat Rochdale Hornets 16–5 to win the Lancashire County Cup, and Bradford Northern beat Hunslet 17–8 to win the Yorkshire County Cup.

At the end of the season, Eric Ashton became the first Rugby League player to receive an award from Her Majesty, the Queen. He was awarded the MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.[4]

ChampionshipEdit

Team Pld W D L Pts
1 St. Helens 34 28 1 5 57
2 Swinton 34 27 1 6 55
3 Wigan 34 27 0 7 54
4 Wakefield Trinity 34 25 2 7 52
5 Castleford 34 23 3 8 49
6 Leeds 34 24 0 10 48
7 Bradford Northern 34 21 1 12 43
8 Workington Town 34 21 1 12 43
9 Oldham 34 20 3 11 43
10 Halifax 34 21 0 13 42
11 Huddersfield 34 20 0 14 40
12 Hull Kingston Rovers 34 20 0 14 40
13 Hull 34 20 0 14 40
14 Widnes 34 17 0 17 34
15 Featherstone Rovers 34 17 0 17 34
16 Warrington 34 16 1 17 33
17 Hunslet 34 15 2 17 32
18 Salford 34 15 1 18 31
19 Keighley 34 15 0 19 30
20 Leigh 34 14 1 19 29
21 Barrow 34 13 1 20 27
22 Bramley 34 12 2 20 26
23 York 34 11 0 23 22
24 Dewsbury 34 10 1 23 21
25 Rochdale Hornets 34 10 0 24 20
26 Liverpool City 34 9 2 23 20
27 Blackpool Borough 34 9 1 24 19
28 Batley 34 6 2 26 14
29 Doncaster 34 6 0 28 12
30 Whitehaven 34 4 2 28 10

Play-offsEdit

 
Round of 16Quarter-finalsSemi-finalsFinal
 
              
 
 
 
 
St Helens35
 
 
 
Warrington7
 
St Helens15
 
 
 
Oldham10
 
Workington Town6
 
 
 
Oldham7
 
St Helens14
 
 
 
Hull Kingston Rovers6
 
Castleford10
 
 
 
Hull Kingston Rovers13
 
Hull Kingston Rovers10
 
 
 
Wakefield Trinity9
 
Wakefield Trinity36
 
 
 
Hull6
 
St Helens35
 
 
 
Halifax12
 
Wigan27
 
 
 
Widnes10
 
Wigan22
 
 
 
Leeds5
 
Leeds19
 
 
 
Huddersfield7
 
Wigan12
 
 
 
Halifax25 Third place
 
Bradford Northern7
 
  
 
Halifax21
 
Halifax33 
 
 
 
Swinton2  
 
Swinton43
 
 
Featherstone Rovers2
 

FinalEdit

The 1966 Championship Final was played between Halifax and St. Helens on Saturday, 28 May 1966 at Station Road Ground before a crowd of 30,634.[5] St Helens won 35-12 with their hat trick-scoring prop forward, Albert Halsall being awarded the Harry Sunderland Trophy as man-of-the-match.

Challenge CupEdit

St Helens had reached the final by beating Wakefield Trinity 10–0 away on 26 February in round one; Swinton 16–4 at home on 19 March in round two; Hull Kingston Rovers 12–10 at home on 2 April in round three and Dewsbury 12–5 on neutral ground on 16 April in the semi-final.[6]

Wigan had reached the final by beating Halifax 9–4 at home on 26 February in round one; Whitehaven 40–6 at home on 19 March in round two; Bradford Northern 15–6 away on 6 April in round three and Leeds 7–2 in the semi-final at Huddersfield on 23 April.

The Challenge Cup final was played at Wembley Stadium, London on 21 May 1966, in front of a crowd of 98,536. Prime Minister Harold Wilson was introduced to the players before kick-off.[7] St Helens led 9–2 at half time and went on to defeat Wigan 21–2. Saints' scorers were John Mantle (1 try), Tommy Bishop (1 try), Len Killeen (1 try, 5 goals), and Alex Murphy (1 goal). Wigan's scorer was Laurie Gilfedder (1 goal). This was St Helens' third Cup final win in seven final appearances.[8]

ReferencesEdit

In-lineEdit

  1. ^ a b Top ten: Rugby league rules, Rugby League World, Aug 2009: 61
  2. ^ Bottom ten: Rugby league rules, Rugby League World, Aug 2009: 62
  3. ^ "1965-66 Season summary". Archived from the original on 2009-09-16. Retrieved 2009-08-08. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ Fletcher, Raymond; David Howes (1995). Rothmans Rugby League Yearbook 1995-1996. London: Headline Book Publishing. p. 468. ISBN 0-7472-7817-2.
  5. ^ "St Helens 35 def. Halifax RLFC 12". rugbyleagueproject.org. Shawn Dollin, Andrew Ferguson and Bill Bates. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
  6. ^ "Saints Heritage Site Season records". Archived from the original on 2009-09-16. Retrieved 2009-08-07. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  7. ^ "Rugby League - Challenge Cup Final - Wigan v St. Helens - Wembley Stadium". friendsreunited.com. Friends Reunited Limited. Archived from the original on 2013-10-13. Retrieved 13 October 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  8. ^ "RFL Challenge Cup Roll of Honour". Archived from the original on 2009-09-16. Retrieved 2009-08-07. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)

GeneralEdit

  • de la Riviere, Richard, ed. (2009), Rugby League World, Brighouse, UK: League Publications (published August 2009) (340), ISSN 1466-0105 Missing or empty |title= (help)

SourcesEdit