Floodlight Trophy was quietly introduced in 1965/6.The BBC paid £9,000 to televise eleven
matches in the autumn of 1965.The seven
clubs with permanent floodlights were invited to play in the competition,
Castleford, Leigh, Oldham, St Helens, Swinton, Warrington
and Widnes.The numbers were made up to eight with Leeds,
who did not install floodlights until September 1966.The matches were played on Tuesday nights
with the second half being shown live on BBC2.
first floodlights had been “switched on” for a friendly match with Wigan on 28th September 1965.St Helens
and Leigh kicked off the competition on 5th October 1965.Warrington
played Widnes at Wilderspool a week
later.A crowd of 7,016 saw Widnes win
20-10, Brian Glover and Joe Pickavance scored tries and Jeff Bootle kicked 2
goals for Warrington.In their second match Warrington lost away to Leigh 9-13 and so
failed to qualify for the semi-finals.Wilf Briggs was the Leigh hero, scoring three tries.
the surprise winners of the first BBC2 Floodlight Trophy, with a 4-0 win at St Helens in the final.Castleford won the trophy again in both of the next two seasons.Overall Castleford won four of the fifteen
finals, before the competition was dropped after the 1979 final.
was used by the RFL to try out changes to the rules without interfering with
the league.The most significant of
these was the introduction of the four tackle rule in 1966.The idea, put forward by New Zealand,
was not liked by the players, however the supporters loved the end to end games
created and so the RFL adopted the rule in October 1966.Another rule change trialled was that the
defence retire five yards at the play the ball instead of three.
Warrington had little success in the competition,
reaching the final just once in 1974/5.In the first round Warrington
defeated Swinton 10-5 at Wilderspool.Tries from John Bevan and Billy Pickup and two goals from Derek
Whitehead saw Warrington
through.In the second round New Hunslet
were defeated 36-17 at Wilderspool.Bevan (3), Dave Chisnall (2), Alan Whittle, Norman Turley and Dave
Cunliffe scored tries and Turley kicked 6 goals.Warrington
were drawn at home again in the semi-final, this time Leigh were demolished
32-0.Bevan (2), Joe Price, Whitehead,
Chisnall and Whittle were the try scorers and Turley kicked 7 goals.
against Salford was a drab affair that ended
0-0 at the Willows.The replay at
Wilderspool in January 1975 was a much more open affair.The match started spectacularly with Keith
Fielding finishing off a length of the field move as Salford
ran out a Whitehead missed penalty.A
Richards try further extended the Salford lead
to 10-2 at half-time.In driving rain
Bevan pounced on a Kevin Ashcroft kick to bring Warrington back in the match.However try as they might Warrington
could not score again and Salford deservedly
won the trophy 10-5.
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