1955–56 Independent Television Floodlit Trophy
StructureFloodlit knockout championship
Teams8
WinnersWarrington
Runners-upLeigh

The Independent Television Floodlit Trophy or the Independent Television Floodlit Competition was a rugby league competition initiated and sponsored by ITV.

The competition was on a knock-out basis, between eight clubs, matches being played under floodlights on various London football grounds, and the second half of each game being shown live in the London Area only on Associated-Rediffusion's "Cavalcade of Sport" programme, which was aired between 8:30 and 9:30 PM.

The idea of playing sport under floodlights was still something of a novelty for most sports, and rugby league was no exception.

The second half of the matches were shown live in the London Area only and no one in the heartlands could watch. That competition only ran for this one season.

The tournament was won by Warrington, who defeated Leigh 43–18 at Loftus Road with Harry Bath, the second row forward, being the hero scoring 22 points from 2 tries and 8 goals. Each of the participating clubs received a payment of £400.

Background

ITV was launched on 24 September 1955 and the new channel, wanting to make their mark from the start, were quick to add sport to the programmes.

At this time there were no ITV broadcasts to the North of England; the Winter Hill transmitter (between Chorley and Bolton) did not become operational until 3 May 1956 when Granada TV started broadcasting.

The competition appeared to have been a little rushed as, although the Rugby League Council had been approached and negotiations had been proceeding, an agreement to run a competition was only finalised on 29 August.[citation needed]

The tournament

The tournament officially took place in October and November 1955, (the first match actually took place Wednesday 28 September) and the literature stated that the contestants comprised "the top four sides from each county", based on the previous seasons league positions. However, these rankings do not conform to the finishing positions in either the Championship or the county leagues from the 1954–55 season.

The first match to be played in Round 1 was between Wigan and Huddersfield,[1] with Wigan suffering a defeat by 33–11.

Competition and results

Round 1 – first round

The first round involved four matches and eight clubs, with all games being played in London. The two teams who won by the largest points margin progressed to the final.

Game No Date Home Team Score Away Team Venue Att Ref
1 Wed 28 Sep 1955 Huddersfield 33–11 Wigan Woolwich Stadium 500 [2][3]
2 Wed 19 Oct 1955 Hunslet 20–46 Leigh Loftus Road 1,500 [4]
3 Wed 2 Nov 1955 Oldham 8–7 Featherstone Rovers Loftus Road 500 [5]
4 Wed 9 Nov 1955 Wakefield Trinity 9–33 Warrington Loftus Road [6][7]

Table

Pos Club P W D L PF PA Pts PD
1 Leigh 1 1 0 0 46 20 2 26
2 Warrington 1 1 0 0 33 9 2 24
3 Huddersfield 1 1 0 0 33 11 2 22
4 Oldham 1 1 0 0 8 7 2 1
5 Featherstone Rovers 1 0 0 1 7 8 0 -1
6 Wigan 1 0 0 1 11 33 0 -22
7 Wakefield Trinity 1 0 0 1 9 33 0 -24
8 Hunslet 1 0 0 1 20 46 0 -26

Pos = Finishing position P = Games played W = Wins D = Draw L = Lose
PF = Points scored PA = Points against Pts = League points PD = Points scored difference

Final

16 November 1955
Warrington 43 – 18 Leigh
Try: Bevan (2), Bath (2), McFarlane (2) Fraser, Naughton, Helme
Goal: Bath (8)
[8][9]
Try: Holden, Wilson, Gibson, Dickens
Goal: Ledgard (3)
Loftus Road, London
Attendance: 3,500
Referee: Ron Gelder (Wakefield)
FB 1 Eric Fraser
RW 2 Brian Bevan
RC 3 Len Horton
LC 4 Ally Naughton
LW 5 Bill Kilbride
SO 6 Eric Frodsham
SH 7 Gerry Helme
PR 8 Dan Naughton
HK 9 Tom McKinney
PR 10 Peter O'Toole
SR 11 Harry Bath
SR 12 Bob Ryan
LF 13 Bill McFarlane
FB 1 Jimmy Ledgard
RW 2 Keith Holden
RC 3 Bobby Wilson
LC 4 James Murphy
LW 5 Jack Gibson
SO 6 Albert Moore
SH 7 Tom O'Brien
PR 8 Bill Robinson
HK 9 Martin Dickens
PR 10 Stan Owen
SR 11 Peter Davies
SR 12 John Crook
LF 13 Joe McFarlane

See also

References

  1. ^ HC&AC Committee (1956). Fartown Rugby League Year Book 1956. HC&AC Supporters' Club.
  2. ^ "Fartown Rugby League Yearbook 1956" (PDF).
  3. ^ "Small crowd at TV match". The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Mercury. 29 September 1955. p. 8 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  4. ^ "Ledgard scores 25 points". The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Mercury. 20 October 1955. p. 6 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  5. ^ "Late penalty beat Rovers". The Yorkshire Observer. 3 November 1955. p. 9 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  6. ^ "Warrington Wolves - Results Archive - 1955".
  7. ^ "I'm Wakefield 'til I die..."
  8. ^ "Warrington Win TV Trophy - 22 Points For Bath". The Yorkshire Observer. 17 November 1955. p. 7 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  9. ^ Saxton, Irvin (ed.). History of Rugby League: No.61 1955–1956. League Publications.