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1965–66 Northern Rugby Football League season

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Title: 1965–66 Northern Rugby Football League season  
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Subject: 1966 in sports, 1965 in sports, Rugby Football League Championship, Rugby league county leagues, Rugby league county cups, St Helens RLFC, BBC2 Floodlit Trophy, Geoffrey Oakes, Malcolm Sampson, Arthur Keegan
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1965–66 Northern Rugby Football League season

1965–66 Rugby Football League season
League Northern Rugby Football League
Champions St. Helens
League Leaders St. Helens
Top point-scorer(s) Len Killeen (St Helens) 336
Top try-scorer(s) Len Killeen (St Helens) 32
Trevor Lake (Wigan) 32
< 1964–65 Seasons 1966–67 >

The 1965–66 Rugby Football League season was the seventieth season of rugby league football.

Rule change

  • 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 summary

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 Cup, and Bradford Northern beat Hunslet 17–8 to win the Yorkshire 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]

Championship

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-offs

Round of 16 Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
                           
           
 St Helens  35
 Warrington  7  
 St Helens  15
   Oldham  10  
 Workington Town  6
 Oldham  7  
 St Helens  14
   Hull Kingston Rovers  6  
 Castleford  10
 Hull Kingston Rovers  13  
 Hull Kingston Rovers  10
   Wakefield Trinity  9  
 Wakefield Trinity  36
 Hull  6  
 St Helens  35
   Halifax  12
 Wigan  27
 Widnes  10  
 Wigan  22
   Leeds  5  
 Leeds  19
 Huddersfield  7  
 Wigan  12
   Halifax  25   Third place
 Bradford Northern  7
 Halifax  21  
 Halifax  33    
   Swinton  2      
 Swinton  43
 Featherstone Rovers  2  

Final

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 Cup

St Helens had reached the final by beating Wakefield Trinity 10-0 away on 26 Feb in Round One; Swinton 16-4 at home on 19 Mar in Round Two; Hull Kingston Rovers 12-10 at home on 2 Apr in Round Three and Dewsbury 12-5 on neutral ground on 16 Apr in the semi-final.[6]

Wigan had reached the final by beating Halifax 9-4 at home on 26 Feb in Round One; Whitehaven 40-6 at home on 19 Mar in Round Two; Bradford Northern 15-6 away on 6 Apr in Round Three and Leeds 7-2 in the semi-final at Huddersfield on 23 Apr.

The Challenge Cup final was played at London's Wembley Stadium before a crowd of 98,536 on 21 May. 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 Gilfedder (1 goal). This was St Helens' third Cup Final win in seven Final appearances.[8]

References

In-line

General

Sources

  • 1965-66 Rugby Football League season at wigan.rlfans.com
  • The Challenge Cup at The Rugby Football League website
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