Leeds Rhinos nostalgia: Loiners complete the trophy set with win over Saints

Syd Hynes.
Syd Hynes.
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BEFORE THE present one, Leeds’ previous great era was the late 1960s and early 1970s, when they were the top team in the English game.

They didn’t manage to win all available silverware in one campaign, but the league leaders’, Challenge Cup, Yorkshire Cup, Championship and Floodlit trophies were all claimed in the space of four seasons.

The Loiners completed the set with a 9-5 victory over St Helens in the Floodlit Trophy final at Headingley on December 15, 1970.

The competition was designed to promote both rugby league and BBC2 and was played on midweek evenings.

The 1970 final came during a power shortage and Leeds weren’t allowed to use Headingley’s floodlights, so illumination was provided by booster lights, powered by the BBC’s generators.

A crowd of 7,756 turned up and Leeds captain Syd Hynes credited them for the victory. He told the Yorkshire Evening Post’s Arthur Haddock: “Tell our spectators, we are grateful to them.

“Tell them their encouragement was magnificent, that it came at the right time and that every member of the side felt he could not let down such fine supporters.”

Haddock described it as a “splendid game, hard but clean, with lots of good football.

“It warmed one on a coldish night and made one forget, in the excitement of the occasion, the fact that the full power of the floodlights could not be used.”

Saints went ahead through Les Jones’ try after only 10 minutes.

Hynes replied with a penalty goal and then took Bill Ramsey’s pass to edge Leeds in front with a touchdown which John Holmes converted.

That made it 7-3 at half-time and the second period was just as tight, Holmes extending the Loiners’ advantage with a penalty goal, before Kel Coslett completed the scoring with a similar effort.

Haddock felt Leeds’ pack were at the heart of the victory, praising prop Ted Barnard in particular, alongside Ray Batten, Bill Ramsey, Bob Haigh, Tony Fisher and John Burke.

Half-backs Tony Wainwright and Mick Shoebottom and centre Ronnie Cowan also caught his eye.

MATCH STATS

Leeds 9

(Try: Hynes. Goals: Hynes, Holmes 2)

St Helens 5

(Try: Jones. Goal: Coslett)

Floodlit trophy final at headingley, December 15, 1970.

Leeds: Holmes, Smith, Hynes, Cowan, Atkinson, Wainwright, Shoebottom, Burke, Fisher, Barnard, Haigh, Ramsey, Batten.

St Helens: Barrow, Jones, Benyon, Walsh, Wilson, Whittle, Heaton, Rees, Karalius, Chisnall, Mantle, Prescott, Coslett.

Referee: E Lawrinson.

Attendance: 7,756.

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