Lawkholmers to Cougars - A Rugby League History

Saturday 1 st September 1900
The first Northern Union game
Keighley 5 – Sowerby Bridge 0

The first season of the Keighley club under the Northern Union regime was opened at Lawkholme Lane
last Saturday under most auspicious circumstances. The weather was admirably suited to the still popular
winter pastime, and the enclosure was well filled with spectators, the number present being estimated at
about 2,000. It was gratifying to the two representatives to find that better facilities have been provided for
the carrying out of their duties. At the first match a good deal of interest is always manifested in the
composition of the team, and on the present occasion this feeling was interesting by reason of the cessation
from that old and, unfortunately decaying body, the Rugby Union.

It is pleasing to see Kendal once more operating under the posts and his numerous friends must
have been delighted with the evidences which he gave that he is still fit and well, for his sterling defence
was one of the main features of the match.

The new three-quarter line was well represented although E Firth of Wigan did not put in an
appearance on account of his transfer not having been obtained from Idle with whom he played for the fore
part of last season. His place was taken by the reserve man Mitchell Lonsdale who showed promising form.
One of the new centres was J. Chappell formerly of Batley and Manningham. The other places were, as
usual filled by Collen and Saunders.

Myers and Tillotson operated at half-back and did good work. The most notable changes in the
forwards were C Clarkson of Silsden and lately of Manningham and Liddemore a recruit from the junior

As to the game itself, little need be said at this early stage when the men are as it were feeling their
way about, and the play was in both sides extremely neat, and was not conspicuous by that wildness which
is to be expected at the opening of the season. Conclusions were successfully tried with Sowerby Bridge,
another team which has undergone considerable changes, when the club was last represented in Keighley.
Just after the ball had been started the visitors appeared certain to score when a free kick awarded on the
Keighley quarter line in good position was entrusted to Butterworth, but his kick went wide of the goal.

Give and take play brought the game to the interval. In the second half the Keighleyites were several times
within an ace of scoring, but at the crucial moment either the ball was lost or the visitors managed to save
the situation. However, all things come to those who wait and strive, and at length Jacobson tackled Swaine
close to the visitors line and he apparently secured the ball, though it was difficult to see what really
happened from the press box. Suffice to say the referee allowed a try and Harry Myers put on the necessary
crowning point. Nothing further was scored by either side.

The game though fought with much determination and vigour was characterised by good temper throughout, and provided some excellent sport
for the spectators, passing bouts were indulged in by both sides and in short were well conceived, although
they did not get much gain in the way of ground.

Keighley Back: F Kendal, Three-Quarter Backs: M Lonsdale, J Cullen, J Chappell, C Saunders

Half-Backs: H Myers, A Tillotson,
Forwards: E H Jacobson, J Noble, J Wrigglesworth, J Jacques, C Clarkson, J Routh,
C Kilby, A Liddemore,

Sowerby Bridge Back: F Whitley, Three-Quarter Backs: J Riley, A Habergham, G Swaine, A Boothman,

Half-Backs: A Butterworth, J Eastwood,
Forwards: J Birtwhistle, J Ellis, G Jagger, B Mellor, G Robinson, W Waddington,