The early 1970ís saw the
introduction of sponsorship in rugby league.In 1973/4 The House of Seagram became sponsors for the first time with
the introduction of the Captain Morgan Trophy competition.They were using this competition to promote
their Captain Morgan Rum.
He eight first round winners from the
Yorkshire Cup and the seven first round winners from the Lancashire Cup
qualified to compete in the first round of the Captain Morgan Trophy.They were joined by Widnes
who had lost by the smallest margin in the Lancashire Cup first round.This first round draw kept the Yorkshire
sides against each other and those from the west of the Pennines
Warrington were drawn away to Wigan
in the first round for a match that produced no tries.Warrington
won 12-4, by virtue of five goals from Derek Whitehead and a drop goal from
Alex Murphy.In the second round at
Wilderspool Warrington defeated Castleford 15-7.Tommy Conroy, Brian
Brady and Dave Cunliffe scored tries, with Whitehead kicking 3 goals.In the semi-final Warrington
had a tremendous 20-13 win a highflying Leeds.Kevin Ashcroft and Parry Gordon were the try
scorers, Whitehead kicked 5 goals, Ashcroft and Murphy both drop goals.
In the final Warrington met Featherstone
Rovers at the Willows on 26 January 1974, before a crowd of 5,259.The match was a dour, tryless final with
plenty of endeavour but very little ingenuity.Defences were on top and both sides resorted to the short kick without
success.Derek Whitehead kicked to
penalty goals in the first half to give Warrington
a 4-0 lead.There were notable
performances by Bobby Wanbon for Warrington
and John Bridges the Featherstone hooker.Warrington
still won despite missing their player coach Alex Murphy.
Derek Whitehead was the
winner of the man of the match award and was presented with an 80oz magnum
bottle of Captain Morgan Rum.No doubt
keeping him warm during the cold winter months.The Warrington Team was Derek Whitehead, Mick Philbin, Derek Noonan, Frank
Reynolds, John Bevan, Alan Whittle, Parry Gordon, Dave Chisnall, Kevin
Ashcroft, Brian Brady, Bobby Wanbon,
David Wright, Ian Mather, substitutes were Billy Pickup (not used) and Joe
Warrington and Featherstone Rovers were to meet in a second final
in the 1973/4 season, this time at Wembley for the Challenge Cup, and once
ran out winners, this time 24-9.
In May it was announced
that the Captain Morgan Trophy competition would be scrapped after only one
season, with Warrington
as the only winners.
1. 1974 team with the Captain Morgan Trophy
2. The Captain Morgan Trophy
3. Derek Whitehead
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