On This Day 25 November
Eighty-even years ago today, the Robins played in the Yorkshire Cup final at Headingley, where they were beaten 10-4 by near-neighbours York.
It was Rovers’ seventh final in thirteen years, but by then the glory days of the 1920s were but a memory, and the great side of that era had broken up. York, by contrast, were enjoying the best period in their history. After a couple of top-half finishes, the had their best ever season in the league in 1932/33, when they finished third, and they finished fifth in 1933/34. In 1933/34, Rovers finished 19th out of 28 clubs, and would not finish in the top half of the table for another 26 years.
But the Yorkshire Cup featured some of the Robins’ best performances of the season, with away wins at Featherstone (12-7), Leeds (9-5) and Huddersfield (20-3). The last two of these finished well above Rovers in the final league table that season, in third and twelfth places respectively.
Rovers did have some very decent players, including full-back George Carmichael, son of the legendary ‘Bunker’; long-time record Rovers appearance-maker, centre Jack Spamer; livewire scrum-half ‘Scrubber ‘ Dale; long-serving forwards Ben Britton and skipper Harold Binks; and England loose-forward George Saddington. Front-rower W.H. Eddoms effort that season was also worthy of mention – he played throughout every one of the 45 games.
Although the Robins were beaten that day, they were by no means disgraced; but all they had to show were two Carmichael goals from a 10-4 defeat in front of a 22,222 crowd. Four special trains ran from Hull Paragon station, leaving between 11.00 am and 12 noon, for a return fare of four shillings (20 pence). Rovers’ finances at the time were somewhat precarious, and several of the players were later sold to balance the books, so the share of the £1,480 gate was very welcome. It was to be the club’s last appearance in a major final for almost 29 years.
The Rovers side that day was – George Carmichael; Ted Tattersfield, Jack Spamer, Louis Beaumont, Richard Hill; John Woodcock, Harold ‘Scrubber’ Dale; Ben Britton, Harold Binks, W.H. Eddoms, Charlie Brown, Frank Blossom, George Saddington
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