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1944–45 Northern Rugby Football League Wartime Emergency League season

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Dec 16, 2021

The 1944–45 Northern Rugby Football Union season was the sixth (and would be the last) season of the rugby league’sWartime Emergency League necessitated by the Second World War.
As in the previous (fifth) Wartime season, the clubs each played a different number of games, but this season clubs re-joined the league and there were now 17 of the original clubs taking part in the Competition (but still only Oldham, St Helens and Wigan from west of the Pennines).
The League remained as one single amalgamated Championship.

1944–45 Northern Rugby Football League Wartime Emergency League season
League Northern Rugby Football League Wartime Emergency League season
1944–45 Season
Champions Bradford Northern
Runner-up Halifax

. . . 1944–45 Northern Rugby Football League Wartime Emergency League season . . .

The 1944–45 season began on Saturday 2 September 1944.
As in the previous season, there are still only the three Lancashire clubs who have not had to close down and withdrawn from the League. The Northern Rugby League continued with a single (now) 17 club single Competition. As the clubs are still playing different number of marches, the league positions and the title would be decided on a percentage basis…
At the completion of the regular season Bradford Northern were on top of the league on the percentage success (with 34 points from 20 games and a percentage success of 85.00%) with Halifax second (27 points from 16 games @ 84.38%).
Last season’s League Leaders Wakefield Trinity although with the same number of points as Bradford Northern had played more games and finished in third position with 34 points from 23 games – percentage success 73.91%
Wigan finished with one point more than Bradford Northern but had played 4 more games and finished fourth (with a record of played 24 points 35 points and 72.92%)
Castleford finished in a creditable 6th position in their first season back after an earlier withdrawal.
St. Helens, for the third consecutive season, finished (this time joint with York.) bottom (16th out of the 17 clubs) with only 9 points from 23 games and with a points difference of (minus) -217. The two clubs had almost identical records – but St. Helens avoided the wooden spoon as they had a better points record than York (points difference (minus)-273). .
Bradford Northern beat Halifax 26-20 on aggregate in the two legged play-off final.[1] and win the Championship..
The Wartime Emergency League did not count as an official league championship.
In the Final of the Rugby league Challenge Cup, Huddersfield beat Bradford Northern 13-9 on aggregate over two legs in front of an aggregate crowd of 26,541.
The LancashireCounty Cup, suspended for season 1940–41 remained so for the rest of the war and again Wigan competed in the Yorkshire Cup.
In the Final of the Yorkshire County Cup, Halifax beat Hunslet by 14-3 on aggregate in two low scoring legs before an aggregate crowd of 20,800.

The following clubs had withdrawn from the League, before this 1944–45 season’s completion began:-
St Helens Recs – who folded before the war started.
Hull Kingston Rovers – who withdrew after the end of the first (1939–40) season finished and did not rejoin until the 1945–46 season.
Rochdale Hornets – As Hull Kingston Rovers.
Widnes – As Hull Kingston Rovers.
Liverpool Stanley – withdrew after the end of the second 1940–41 season finished and did not rejoin until the 1945–46 season.
Salford – As Liverpool Stanley.
Swinton – As Liverpool Stanley.
Warrington – As Liverpool Stanley.
Broughton Rangers – withdrew early in the 1941–42 season and did not rejoin until the 1945–46 season.
Leigh – During the Second World War, the club was forced to leave its ground as the adjacent cable factory extended onto the land. The townsfolk of Leigh, acting on chairman James Hilton‘s inspiration, cleared some fields on the edge of the town, and built a new stadium, including moving and rebuilding the old grandstand from the original ground.
In 1941–42, Leigh quit the wartime Lancashire league and would not return to the league until 1946–47 when they played as a temporary measure at the Athletic Ground, Holden Road before moving to Kirkhall Lane (which was later officially renamed Hilton Park after James Hilton).
Bramley – withdrew after the end of the third 1941–42 season finished and did not re-join until the 1945–46 season.
Castleford – withdrew after the end of the third 1941–42 season finished and did not participate for two seasons, re-joining for the 1944–45 season.

. . . 1944–45 Northern Rugby Football League Wartime Emergency League season . . .

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. . . 1944–45 Northern Rugby Football League Wartime Emergency League season . . .