1971–72 League Cup (rugby league)

This was the inaugural season for the League Cup and the competition was known as the Players No.6 Trophy for sponsorship reasons.

1971–72 League Cup
StructureNational knockout championship
Teams32
WinnersHalifax
Runners-upWakefield Trinity
Seasons

Halifax won the trophy by beating Wakefield Trinity by the score of 22-11 in the final. The match was played at Odsal in the City of Bradford. The attendance was 7975 and receipts were £2545.

BackgroundEdit

The council of the Rugby Football League had been investigating the possibility of another knock-out competition for several seasons, to be similar to the association football league cup competition played for by the Scottish Football Association (first competed for in 1946-47) and The Football Association (first competed for 1961). It was to be a similar knock-out structure to, and to be secondary to, the Challenge Cup. The council voted to introduce the new competition at the same time as sports sponsorship was becoming more prevalent and as a result John Player and Sons, a division of Imperial Tobacco Company, became sponsors, and the competition never became widely known as the "League Cup"

The competition ran from 1971–72 until 1995-96 and was initially intended for the professional clubs plus the two amateur BARLA National Cup finalists. In later seasons the entries were expanded to take in other amateur and French teams. The competition was dropped, the main reason being given was due to "fixture congestion", when Rugby League became a summer sport The Rugby League season always (until the onset of "Summer Rugby" in 1996) ran from around August-time through to around May-time and this "League Cup" competition always took place early in the season, in the Autumn, with the final usually taking place in late January

The competition was variably known, by its sponsorship name, as the Player's No.6 Trophy (1971–1977), the John Player Trophy (1977–1983), the John Player Special Trophy (1983–1989), and the Regal Trophy in 1989.

Competition and Results[1]Edit

Round 1 - First Round[2]Edit

Involved 16 matches and 32 Clubs

Game No Fixture Date Home Team Score Away Team Venue Att Rec Notes Ref
1 Fri 12 Nov 1971 Thames Board Mills 7-27 Huddersfield Wilderspool 1175 1, 2 [3]
2 Fri 12 Nov 1971 Ace Amateurs 9-33 Wigan Central Park 2678 3, 4 [4]
3 Sat 13 Nov 1971 Barrow 10-9 Swinton Craven Park
4 Sat 13 Nov 1971 Dewsbury 5-5 Hull F.C. Crown Flatt [5]
5 Sat 13 Nov 1971 Huyton 5-18 Keighley Alt Park, Huyton
6 Sat 13 Nov 1971 Leeds 18-8 Leigh Headingley
7 Sat 13 Nov 1971 St. Helens 37-7 Featherstone Rovers Knowsley Road 3000 [6]
8 Sat 13 Nov 1971 Workington Town 0-10 Blackpool Borough Derwent Park [7]
9 Sun 14 Nov 1971 Batley 5-11 York Mount Pleasant [6]
10 Sun 14 Nov 1971 Bradford Northern 8-12 Rochdale Hornets Odsal
11 Sun 14 Nov 1971 Doncaster 4-16 Bramley Bentley Road Stadium/Tattersfield
12 Sun 14 Nov 1971 Hull Kingston Rovers 17-14 Salford Craven Park (1)
13 Sun 14 Nov 1971 Hunslet 7-7 Castleford Parkside
14 Sun 14 Nov 1971 Warrington 9-16 Halifax Wilderspool [8]
15 Sun 14 Nov 1971 Whitehaven 5-0 Oldham Recreation Ground
16 Sun 14 Nov 1971 Widnes 10-10 Wakefield Trinity Naughton Park [7][9][10]

Round 1 - First Round ReplaysEdit

Involved 3 matches and 6 Clubs

Game No Fixture Date Home Team Score Away Team Venue Att Rec Notes Ref
1 Wed 17 Nov 1971 Castleford 9-8 Hunslet Wheldon Road
2 Wed 17 Nov 1971 Wakefield Trinity 12-10 Widnes Belle Vue [7][9][10]
3 Thu 18 Nov 1971 Hull F.C. 22-10 Dewsbury Boulevard [5]

Round 2 - Second Round[11]Edit

Involved 8 matches and 16 Clubs

Game No Fixture Date Home Team Score Away Team Venue Att Rec Notes Ref
1 Fri 26 Nov 1971 Castleford 11-13 Leeds Wheldon Road
2 Sat 27 Nov 1971 Barrow 10-6 Huddersfield Craven Park [3]
3 Sat 27 Nov 1971 Halifax 5-3 York Thrum Hall
4 Sat 27 Nov 1971 Hull Kingston Rovers 11-18 Wigan Craven Park (1)
5 Sat 27 Nov 1971 Whitehaven 0-12 St. Helens Recreation Ground 1500
6 Sun 28 Nov 1971 Bramley 5-10 Wakefield Trinity McLaren Field [7][9]
7 Sun 28 Nov 1971 Hull F.C. 36-10 Keighley Boulevard
8 Sun 28 Nov 1971 Rochdale Hornets 4-14 Blackpool Borough Athletic Grounds [7]

Round 3 -Quarter Finals[12]Edit

Involved 4 matches with 8 clubs

Game No Fixture Date Home Team Score Away Team Venue Att Rec Notes Ref
1 Sat 11 Dec 1971 Halifax 36-13 Barrow Thrum Hall
2 Sat 11 Dec 1971 Leeds 12-12 Wigan Headingley [4]
3 Sat 11 Dec 1971 St. Helens 33-5 Hull F.C. Knowsley Road 3467 [5][6]
4 Sun 12 Dec 1971 Wakefield Trinity 18-12 Blackpool Borough Belle Vue [7][9]

Round 3 -Quarter Finals - ReplaysEdit

Involved 1 match with 2 clubs

Game No Fixture Date Home Team Score Away Team Venue Att Rec Notes Ref
1 Wed 15 Dec 1971 Wigan 5-12 Leeds Central Park [4]

Round 4 – Semi-Finals[13]Edit

Involved 2 matches and 4 Clubs

Game No Fixture Date Home Team Score Away Team Venue Att Rec Notes Ref
1 Sat 18 Dec 1971 Wakefield Trinity 14-9 St. Helens Belle Vue 3964 [7]
2 Sat 8 Jan 1972 Leeds 7-15 Halifax Headingley

FinalEdit

Game No Fixture Date Home Team Score Away Team Venue Att Rec Notes Ref
Saturday 22 January 1972 Halifax 22-11 Wakefield Trinity Odsal 7975 2545 5 [7][9][14][15]

Teams and Scorers[14][15]Edit

Halifax No. Wakefield Trinity
teams
Tony Hepworth 1 Geoffrey "Geoff" Wraith
David Rayner 2 Keith Slater
Phil Davies 3 Jack Marston
David Willicombe 4 John Hegarty
Mike Kelly 5 Michael "Mike"/"Mick" Major
Bruce Burton 6 David Topliss
xGordon Baker (c) 7 Kevin Harkin
Terry Dewhurst 8 David Jeanes
Roy Hawksley 9 Mick Morgan
David Callon 10 Steve Lyons
Terry Fogerty 11 Peter Harrison
John A Martin 12 Rob Valentine
Tony Halmshaw 13 Neil Fox
John 'Sammy' Sanderson (for Gordon Baker) 14 Bernard Ward (for Geoffrey "Geoff" Wraith)
Derek Reeves (for David Callon) 15 Raymond "Ray" Spencer (for Peter Harrison)
Les Pearce Coach Neil Fox
22 score 11
7 HT 8
Scorers
Tries
Phil Davies (1) T Keith Slater (1)
David Willicombe (1) T David Topliss (1)
Mike Kelly (1) T Rob Valentine (1)
David Callon (1) T
Goals
Bruce Burton (5) G Neil Fox (1)
Referee S. Shepherd (Oldham)
Man of the match Bruce Burton - Halifax - stand-off
Competition Sponsor Player's No.6

Scoring - Try = three (3) points - Goal = two (2) points - Drop goal = one (1) point (reduced from this season)

Prize MoneyEdit

As part of the sponsorship deal and funds, the prize money awarded to the competing teams for this season is as follows :-

Finish Position Cash Prize No. receiving prize Total Cash
Winner £5000 1 £5000
Runner-up £2500 1 £2500
semi-finalist £1000 2 £2000
loser in Rd 3 ? 4 ?
loser in Rd 2 ? 8 ?
Loser in Rd 1 ? 16 ?
Loser in Prelim Round ? ? ?
Grand Total

Note - the author is unable to trace the rest of the award amounts. Can anyone help ?

The road to successEdit

First Round Second Round Third Round Semi Finals Final
               
Hunslet 7 (8)
Castleford 7 (9)
Castleford 11
Leeds 13
Leeds 18
Leigh 8
Leeds 12 (5)
Wigan 12 (12)
Hull Kingston Rovers 17
Salford 14
Hull Kingston Rovers 11
Wigan 18
Ace Amateurs (Hull) 9
Wigan 33
Leeds 7
Halifax 15
Warrington 9
Halifax 16
Halifax 5
York 3
Batley 5
York 11
Halifax 36
Barrow 13
Barrow 10
Swinton 9
Barrow 10
Huddersfield 6
Thames Board Mills (Warrington) 7
Huddersfield 27
Halifax 22
Wakefield Trinity 11
Doncaster 4
Bramley 16
Bramley 5
Wakefield Trinity 10
Widnes 10 (10)
Wakefield Trinity 10 (12)
Wakefield Trinity 18
Blackpool Borough 12
Bradford Northern 8
Rochdale Hornets 12
Rochdale Hornets 4
Blackpool Borough 14
Workington Town 0
Blackpool Borough 10
Wakefield Trinity 14
St. Helens 9
Whitehaven 5
Oldham 0
Whitehaven 0
St. Helens 12
St. Helens 37
Featherstone Rovers 7
St. Helens 33
Hull F.C. 5
Dewsbury 5 (10)
Hull F.C. 5 (22)
Hull F.C. 36
Keighley 10
Huyton 5
Keighley 18

Player's Top Try Contest[2]Edit

As part of the sponsorship deal, a Top Try Contest was held. This involved all the professional first round Players No.6 Trophy Losers.

One match was played by each club and the four clubs scoring the most tries received prize money.

This competition was not a success and was only held for this season.

This series Involved 7 matches and 14 Clubs.

Game No Fixture Date Home Team Score Away Team Venue Home Tries Away Tries Notes Ref
1 Fri 26 Nov 1971 Widnes 32-3 Huyton Naughton Park 8 1 [10]
2 Fri 26 Nov 1971 Salford 38-7 Warrington The Willows 10 1 [8]
3 Sat 27 Nov 1971 Doncaster 12-30 Dewsbury Bentley Road Stadium/Tattersfield 2 8
4 Sat 27 Nov 1971 Workington Town 5-9 Bradford Northern Derwent Park 1 1
5 Sun 28 Nov 1971 Featherstone Rovers 54-0 Batley Post Office Road 12
6 Sun 28 Nov 1971 Oldham 5-11 Leigh Watersheddings 1 1
7 Sun 28 Nov 1971 Swinton 53-6 Batley Station Road 13 2

The TableEdit

The club scoring the most tries finished top.

In the case of a tie, the deciding items were :-

  • 1 The club scoring the most tries
  • 2 The club scoring the most points
  • 3 The club with the fewest points against

The table showing finishing positions and the awards were as follows :

Place Position Team Number of Tries Prize Money Points Scored Points Against
1 Winners Swinton 13 500 53 6
2 Second Place Featherstone Rovers 12 250 54 0
3 Third Place Salford 10 150 38 7
4 Fourth Place Widnes 8 100 32 3
5 * Dewsbury 8 30 12
6 Doncaster 2 12 30
7 Batley 2 6 53
8 Leigh 1 11 5
9 Bradford Northern 1 9 5
10 Warrington 1 7 38
11 Workington Town 1 5 9
12 Oldham 1 5 11
13 Huyton 1 3 32
14 Batley 0 0 54

Note * Widnes took 4th place ahead of Dewsbury as they scored more points - and therefore were awarded the prize money

Notes and commentsEdit

1 * Thames Board Mills were a Junior (amateur) club from Warrington
2 * Thames Board Mills opted to play the match at Wilderspool, the home of Warrington 3 * Ace Amateurs were a Junior (amateur) club from Hull
4 * Ace Amateurs were drawn at Home but agreed to switch the venue to Central Park, the home ground of Wigan
5 * Odsal is the home ground of Bradford Northern from 1890 to 2010 and the current capacity is in the region of 26,000, The ground is famous for hosting the largest attendance at an English sports ground when 102,569 (it was reported that over 120,000 actually attended as several areas of boundary fencing collapse under the sheer weight of numbers) attended the replay of the Challenge Cup final on 5 May 1954 to see Halifax v Warrington

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Rugby League Project".
  2. ^ a b "Wigan "Cherry and White" archived JP R1 results".
  3. ^ a b "Huddersfield Rugby League Heritage" (PDF).
  4. ^ a b c "Wigan "Cherry and White" archived results".
  5. ^ a b c "HULL&PROUD - Stats - Fixtures & Results".
  6. ^ a b c "Saints Heritage Society - History - Season 1896-97".
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h J C Lindley and D W Armitage (1973). 100 Years of Rugby. The History of Wakefield Trinity 1873-1973. Wakefield Trinity Centenary Committee. ISBN 0 35617852 8.
  8. ^ a b "Warrington Wolves - Results Archive - 1897".
  9. ^ a b c d e "Wakefield until I die".
  10. ^ a b c "Widnes Vikings - History - Season In Review - 1896-97".
  11. ^ "Wigan "Cherry and White" archived JP R2 results".
  12. ^ "Wigan "Cherry and White" archived JP R3 results".
  13. ^ "Wigan "Cherry and White" archived JP R4 results".
  14. ^ a b Raymond Fletcher and David Howes (1990). Rothmans Rugby League Yearbook 1990-1991. Queen Anne Press. ISBN 0 35617851 X.
  15. ^ a b Raymond Fletcher and David Howes (1991). Rothmans Rugby League Yearbook 1991-1992. Queen Anne Press. ISBN 0 35617852 8.

External linksEdit