Leeds Rhinos Nostalgia: Loiners beat Dewsbury to finally get their hands on Yorkshire Cup

Thrum Hall.
Thrum Hall.
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THE YORKSHIRE Cup was won by Leeds for the first time – of a record 17 victories from 21 finals – 94 years ago this week.

It was the end of a long wait for the Loiners, who reached the county cup decider just once in its first 13 seasons, losing 24-5 to Huddersfield in 1919.

In other attempts, they were beaten in the first round seven times, the second round on three occasions and twice in the semi-finals.

Huddersfield were Yorkshire’s dominant side in the first quarter of the 20th century, winning the county cup six times.

Leeds beat them in the first round in 1921, followed that with victory over Halifax and then saw off Bramley in an all-Leeds semi-final.

That set up a decider against Dewsbury, played at Thrum Hall, Halifax, on November 26. The Leeds team travelled to the game by rail, in a private coach and had to battle through thousands of supporters on the platform at Leeds Central station.

Leeds fans made up the majority of the 15,000 crowd and were the ones celebrating at the end of a thrilling game.

Dewsbury, also seeking their first Yorkshire Cup title, were the better team early on, but lost stand-off Albert Jenkinson – a former Leeds player and county cup runner-up two years earlier – after just 10 minutes with a badly broken leg.

Reduced to 12 players for the rest of the game, they gave a good account of themselves, but Leeds made their extra man count.

They went ahead with a try by centre Jim Bacon, but Dewsbury levelled when W Seddon, their full-back, touched down. He could not add the conversion and also missed with three penalty attempts.

Leeds opened an 8-5 interval lead after Bacon crashed over for his second try and Syd Walmsley converted.

The second half was tense, with both teams going close, before Leeds sealed an 11-3 victory six minutes from time, through a try by Welsh winger Hugh Davies.

Celebrations were marred by concern over Jenkinson and Leeds officials took time out to visit him in hospital after the match.


Leeds 11 (Tries: Bacon 2, H Davies; goal: Walmsley)

Dewsbury 3 (Try: Seddon)

Yorkshire Cup Final, Thrum Hall, Halifax, November 26, 1921

Leeds: Roberts, Walmsley, WA Davies, Bacon, WH (Hugh) Davies, Brittain, Brown, Godward, Hardaker, Gould, Boagey, Pearson, Ward..

Dewsbury: Seddon, Bates, Rees, Catterall, Joe Lyman, Jenkinson, Rogers, Craven, Dixon, Gallagher, Sharples, Birch, Leake.

Referee: F Mills.

Attendance: 15,000.