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County Championship (rugby union)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

County Championship (rugby union)
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2019 Bill Beaumont County Championship Division 1
SportRugby union
Founded1889; 130 years ago (1889)
Owner(s)Rugby Football Union
No. of teams12
CountryEngland
Most recent
champion(s)
Lancashire (2018) (25th title)
Most titlesLancashire (25)

The County Championship is an annual rugby union competition in England between teams representing English counties. After restructuring in 2007 the top tier of the Championship has been known as the Bill Beaumont Cup, after the trophy awarded to the competition winners was named in honour of Bill Beaumont, a former England and British & Irish Lions captain.[1] In 2017 the competition was officially known as Bill Beaumont Division 1, with teams also competing in Division 2 and Division 3, which prior to 2017 were known as the Plate and Shield competitions.[2]

The English County Championship has a long history, being first officially recognised by the Rugby Football Union in 1889. The 2018 Championship was the 118th competition. The most successful county, Lancashire, has won the competition 25 times, followed by Gloucestershire (17) and Yorkshire (15). Lancashire (34) & Gloucestershire (33) have made the most appearances in contested finals.

On four occasions the tournament final has been tied at full-time and a second leg rematch has been played. Two of these rematches were also tied and on these occasions (1907 and 1967) the finalists were declared joint winners. In 1991 the final match between Cornwall and Yorkshire was tied at full-time and extra time was played, with Cornwall winning 29–20. In 2001 the Championship did not take place due to the 2001 United Kingdom foot-and-mouth outbreak; instead Yorkshire and Cornwall were invited to play at Twickenham.

The 2015 final was contested by Lancashire and Cornwall, with the teams meeting in the final for the third consecutive year.[3] Cornwall won the championship with an 18-13 victory, their fourth title overall and their first since 1999.[4] Cornwall retained their title in 2016, this time beating Cheshire, 35–13.[5] In 2017 Cornwall and Lancashire met in the final for the fourth time in five seasons. Lancashire won 19-8 and prevented Cornwall from completing a hat-trick of county titles.[6]

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Transcription

Contents

Structure

There was little formal structure to the first official years of the competition, with teams playing different numbers of matches and different opposition from across England. The winners were determined by a panel of judges from the RFU Committee. From 1891–1895, the four winners of four regional Championships (North East, North West, South East and South West) played a round robin to determine the overall winner of the County Championship.

A restructure in 1896, led to the creation of North and South regions only, the winners of these regional competitions playing a final for the County Championship. Another restructure in 1921 saw the formation of five regions and the knock-out stage of the championship extend to semi-finals and a final. The winners of the North East, North West and South East regions were entered into a semi-final draw along with the winners of a play-off between the winners of the South and South West regions.

From 2007 to 2016, the top eight counties were split into two regions of four teams, North and South, who played a round-robin tournament. The winners of each region competed for the English County Championship in the final. This format was repeated for the eight counties that competed for the County Championship Plate. The eleven counties which competed for the County Championship Shield were split into three pools from which the winners and the runner-up with the best record met in semi-final matches.

In 2017 the competition was given a new structure, with the top tier comprising twelve teams and the second and third tiers having eight teams each. Each tier has a final each year, but promotion and relegation between tiers is decided on a two-year basis.[7]

Past winners

Year Winner Regional Winners
1889 Yorkshire
1890 Yorkshire
1891 Lancashire Gloucestershire, Surrey, Yorkshire
1892 Yorkshire Kent, Lancashire, Midland Counties
1893 Yorkshire Cumberland, Devon, Middlesex
1894 Yorkshire Lancashire, Midland Counties, Somerset
1895 Yorkshire Cumberland, Devon, Midland Counties
Year Winners Home Team Score Away Team Venue Attendance/Notes
1896 Yorkshire Surrey 4-16 Yorkshire Athletic Ground, Richmond
1897 Kent Cumberland 3-9 Kent Carlisle
1898 Northumberland Midland Counties 3-24 Northumberland Coventry
1899 Devon Northumberland 0-5 Devon Jesmond, Newcastle 6,000 [8]
1900 Durham County Devon 3–11 Durham County Exeter 10,000-13,000 [9] [10]
1901 Devon Durham County 3-14 Devon Victoria Park (Hartlepool)
1902 Durham County Gloucestershire 3-9 Durham County Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester 6,000 [11]
1903 Durham County Durham County 4-3 Kent Victoria Park (Hartlepool)
1904 Kent Kent 8-6 Durham County Blackheath
1905 Durham County Durham County 9-8 Middlesex Victoria Park (Hartlepool)
1906 Devon Devon 16-3 Durham County Exeter 12,000 [12]
1907 Title shared after replay drawn Durham County 3-3 Devon Victoria Park (Hartlepool)
Devon 0-0 Durham County Exeter Replay
1908 Cornwall Cornwall 17-3 Durham County Redruth
1909 Durham County Durham County 12-0 Cornwall Old Friarage, Hartlepool
1910 Gloucestershire Gloucestershire 23-0 Yorkshire Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester 10,000 [13]
1911 Devon Yorkshire 3-12 Devon Clarence Cricket and Football Ground, Kirkstall [14] 8,000
1912 Devon Devon 29-0 Northumberland Rectory Ground, Devonport [15] 12,000
1913 Gloucestershire Cumberland 3-14 Gloucestershire Carlisle 10,000
1914 Midland Counties Midland Counties 22-5 Durham County Welford Road Stadium, Leicester
1915-19 Competition suspended for WWI
1920 Gloucestershire Yorkshire 3-27 Gloucestershire Lidget Green, Bradford 8,000
1921 Gloucestershire Gloucestershire 31-4 Leicestershire Kingsholm, Gloucester 10,701
1922 Gloucestershire North Midlands 0-19 Gloucestershire Villa Park, Birmingham
1923 Somerset Somerset 8-6 Leicestershire Bridgwater Albion ground 10,000
1924 Cumberland Cumberland 14-3 Kent Carlisle
1925 Leicestershire Gloucestershire 6-14 Leicestershire Memorial Ground, Bristol
1926 Yorkshire Yorkshire 15-14 Hampshire Bradford
1927 Kent Kent 22-12 Leicestershire Rectory Field, Blackheath
1928 Yorkshire Yorkshire 12–8 Cornwall Lidget Green, Bradford[16]
1929 Middlesex Middlesex 8-8 Lancashire Twickenham 12,000
Lancashire 8-9 Middlesex St Anthony's Road, Blundellsands 8,000 Replay match
1930 Gloucestershire Lancashire 7-13 Gloucestershire St Anthony's Road, Blundellsands 10,000+
1931 Gloucestershire Gloucestershire 10-9 Warwickshire Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester
1932 Gloucestershire Durham County 3-9 Gloucestershire Blaydon-on-Tyne 12,000
1933 Hampshire Hampshire 18-7 Lancashire Dean Court, Boscombe
1934 East Midlands East Midlands 10-0 Gloucestershire Franklin's Gardens, Northampton
1935 Lancashire Somerset 0-14 Lancashire Recreation Ground (Bath)
1936 Hampshire Northumberland 6-13 Hampshire Gosforth
1937 Gloucestershire Gloucestershire 5-0 East Midlands Bristol
1938 Lancashire Lancashire 24-12 Surrey St Anthony's Road, Blundellsands
1939 Warwickshire Somerset 3-8 Warwickshire Weston-super-Mare
1940-46 Competition suspended for World War II
1947 Lancashire Lancashire 8-8 Gloucestershire St Anthony's Road, Blundellsands 5,000
Gloucestershire 3-14 Lancashire Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester 20,000 Replay match
1948 Lancashire Eastern Counties 0-5 Lancashire University Ground, Cambridge
1949 Lancashire Lancashire 9-3 Gloucestershire St Anthony's Road, Blundellsands
1950 Cheshire Cheshire 5-0 East Midlands Upper Park, Birkenhead Park
1951 East Midlands East Midlands 10-0 Middlesex Franklin's Gardens, Northampton
1952 Middlesex Middlesex 9-6 Lancashire Twickenham
1953 Yorkshire Yorkshire 11-3 East Midlands Bradford
1954 Middlesex Lancashire 6-24 Middlesex St Anthony's Road, Blundellsands 12,000
1955 Lancashire Middlesex 8-14 Lancashire Twickenham
1956 Middlesex Middlesex 13-9 Devon Twickenham
1957 Devon Devon 12-3 Yorkshire Home Park, Plymouth
1958 Warwickshire Warwickshire 16-8 Cornwall Coundon Road, Coventry
1959 Warwickshire Gloucestershire 9-14 Warwickshire Memorial Ground, Bristol
1960 Warwickshire Warwickshire 9-6 Surrey Coundon Road, Coventry
1961 Cheshire Devon 0-0 Cheshire Home Park, Plymouth
Cheshire 5-3 Devon Upper Park, Birkenhead Park Replay match
1962 Warwickshire Hampshire 6-11 Warwickshire Twickenham
1963 Warwickshire Warwickshire 13-10 Yorkshire Coundon Road, Coventry
1964 Warwickshire Warwickshire 8-6 Lancashire Coundon Road, Coventry
1965 Warwickshire Durham County 9-15 Warwickshire New Friarage, Hartlepool
1966 Middlesex Lancashire 0-6 Middlesex St Anthony's Road, Blundellsands
1967 Title shared after replay drawn Surrey 14-14 Durham County Twickenham
Durham County 0-0 Surrey Hartlepool
1968 Middlesex Middlesex 9-6 Warwickshire Twickenham
1969 Lancashire Cornwall 9-11 Lancashire Recreation Ground, Redruth 23-25,000 (estimated)
1970 Staffordshire Staffordshire 11-9 Gloucestershire Peel Croft, Burton-on-Trent
1971 Surrey Gloucestershire 3-14 Surrey Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester
1972 Gloucestershire Warwickshire 6-11 Gloucestershire Coundon Road, Coventry
1973 Lancashire Gloucestershire 12-17 Lancashire Memorial Ground, Bristol
1974 Gloucestershire Lancashire 12-22 Gloucestershire St Anthony's Road, Blundellsands
1975 Gloucestershire Gloucestershire 13-9 Eastern Counties Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester
1976 Gloucestershire Middlesex 9-24 Gloucestershire Richmond Athletic Ground
1977 Lancashire Lancashire 17-6 Middlesex St Anthony's Road, Blundellsands
1978 North Midlands North Midlands 10-7 Gloucestershire The Reddings, Moseley
1979 Middlesex Middlesex 19-6 Northumberland Twickenham
1980 Lancashire Lancashire 21-15 Gloucestershire Powderhouse Lane, Vale of Lune 10,000 (estimated) [17]
1981 Northumberland Gloucestershire 6-15 Northumberland Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester
1982 Lancashire North Midlands 3-7 Lancashire The Reddings, Moseley
1983 Gloucestershire Gloucestershire 19-7 Yorkshire Memorial Ground, Bristol

From 1984 all Championship finals were played at Twickenham.

Year Winners Score Runners Up Venue Attendance/Notes
1984 Gloucestershire 36-18 Somerset Twickenham
1985 Middlesex 12-9 Notts, Lincs & Derby Twickenham
1986 Warwickshire 16-6 Kent Twickenham
1987 Yorkshire 22-11 Middlesex Twickenham 10,000 [18]
1988 Lancashire 23-18 Warwickshire Twickenham 2,000 [19]
1989 Durham County 13-9 Cornwall Twickenham 27,500 [20]
1990 Lancashire 32-9 Middlesex Twickenham 7,000 [21]
1991 Cornwall 29-20 Yorkshire Twickenham AET, 56,000[22]
1992 Lancashire 9-6 Cornwall Twickenham 50,000[23]
1993 Lancashire 9-6 Yorkshire Twickenham 18,700[24]
1994 Yorkshire 26-3 Durham County Twickenham 16,000[25]
1995 Warwickshire 15-9 Northumberland Twickenham 6,000[26]
1996 Gloucestershire 17-13 Warwickshire Twickenham 7,750[27]
1997 Cumbria 21-13 Somerset Twickenham 8,150[28]
1998 Cheshire 21-14 Cornwall Twickenham 35,250[29]
1999 Cornwall 25-15 Gloucestershire Twickenham 25,000[30]
2000 Yorkshire 16-9 Devon Twickenham 4,000[31]
2001 Yorkshire 47-19 Cornwall Twickenham Challenge match, 4,000[32]
2002 Gloucestershire 26-23 Cheshire Twickenham
2003 Lancashire 24-18 Gloucestershire Twickenham 1,000 [33]
2004 Devon 43-14 Gloucestershire Twickenham
2005 Devon 22-16 Lancashire Twickenham
2006 Lancashire 32-26 Devon Twickenham
2007 Devon 27-6 Lancashire Twickenham
2008 Yorkshire 33-13 Devon Twickenham
2009 Lancashire 32-18 Gloucestershire Twickenham
2010 Lancashire 36-6 Gloucestershire Twickenham
2011 Lancashire 32-23 Hertfordshire Twickenham
2012 Hertfordshire 38-20 Lancashire Twickenham
2013 Lancashire 35-26 Cornwall Twickenham 20,000
2014 Lancashire 36-26 Cornwall Twickenham 4,000
2015 Cornwall 18-13 Lancashire Twickenham 1,500
2016 Cornwall 35-13 Cheshire Twickenham 3,000
2017 Lancashire 19-8 Cornwall Twickenham 7,000
2018 Lancashire 31-16 Hertfordshire Twickenham
2019 Twickenham

Championships by county

County Outright Shared Total Runners-up Last won
Cheshire 3 3 2 1998
Cornwall 5 5 9 2016
Cumberland 1 1 2 1924
Cumbria 1 1 0 1997
Devon 9 1 10 6 2007
Durham County 6 2 8 8 1989
East Midlands 2 2 3 1951
Eastern Counties 2
Gloucestershire 17 17 16 2002
Hampshire 2 2 2 1936
Hertfordshire 1 1 1 2012
Kent 3 3 3 1927
Lancashire 25 25 10 2018
Leicestershire 1 1 3 1925
Middlesex 8 8 7 1985
Midland Counties 1 1 1 1914
North Midlands 1 1 2 1978
Northumberland 2 2 5 1981
Notts, Lincs & Derby 1
Somerset 1 1 4 1923
Staffordshire 1 1 0 1970
Surrey 1 1 2 3 1971
Warwickshire 10 10 5 1995
Yorkshire 15 15 8 2008

Cumbria, a 1974 amalgamation of the former counties of Cumberland, Westmorland, and the Furness part of Lancashire, is shown separately from Cumberland and Lancashire.

Eastern Counties and Notts, Lincs & Derby have reached the final but have never won the championship.

Gloucestershire are the only county to have completed a "hat-trick of tat-trick" of county titles: 1920,1921 & 1922; 1930,1931 & 1932; 1974,1975 & 1976.

John Fidler, former Gloucester, Gloucestershire and England lock forward, still holds the record for the most County Championship Final appearances, nine in all, from 1971 to 1984.

References

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-04-28. Retrieved 2007-05-13.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "County Championships renamed to honour rugby legends". England Rugby. 27 March 2017.
  3. ^ "County Championship: Cornwall 25–18 Hertfordshire". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  4. ^ "County Championship final: Cornwall 18–13 Lancashire". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  5. ^ "County Championship final 2016: Cornwall beat Cheshire to retain title at Twickenham". BBC Sport. 29 May 2016.
  6. ^ "Lancashire win Bill Beaumont County Champs final". England Rugby. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Fixtures confirmed for restructured 2017 County Championships". England Rugby. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  8. ^ ""FOOTBALL NOTES." York Herald, 10 Apr. 1899, p. 8". British Library Newspaper Archives.
  9. ^ "Rugby County Championship". The Cornishman (1136). 12 April 1900. p. 12.
  10. ^ """TO-DAY'S FOOTBALL." Trewman's Exeter Flying Post, 7 Apr. 1900". British Library Newspaper Archives.
  11. ^ ""The Rugby County Championship." Times, 7 Apr. 1902, p. 9". Times Digital Archives.
  12. ^ "1906 - Durham County v Devon". Hartlepool History.
  13. ^ ""Football." Times, 11 Apr. 1910, p. 20". Times Digital Archives.
  14. ^ "OS Town Plan, Leeds 1911". Old Maps.
  15. ^ "Football, 24 February". Western Times - Exeter. 1912.
  16. ^ Pelmear, Kenneth (1960). Rugby In the Duchy (Rugby Heritage) 1884–1959: An Official Histroy of the Game In Cornwall. Cornwall Rugby Football Union. p. 1.
  17. ^ "100 CLUB OF THE DAY: VALE OF LUNE RUFC". Sale Sharks.
  18. ^ "hands, David. "Harrison is on song in Yorkshire's timely march to title success." Times, 13 Apr. 1987, p. 29". Times Digital Archives.
  19. ^ "Stiles, Bryan. "Lancashire defence stands firm after." Times, 11 Apr. 1988, p. 31". Times Digital Archives.
  20. ^ "hands, David. "Cornwall lose by looking a gift horse in the mouth." Times, 3 Apr. 1989, p. 34". Times Digital Archives.
  21. ^ Jones, Stephen (1990–91). Rothmans Rugby Yearbook. Rothmans Publications Ltd. pp. 147–153. ISBN 0-356-19162-1.CS1 maint: Date format (link)
  22. ^ "Cheshire v Cornwall (1998 County Championship Final Programme)" (PDF). Cheshire RFU. 18 April 1998.
  23. ^ "England ... the 'utterly inept April Fools'". ESPN. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  24. ^ "Rugby Union: End of era for wild bunch of Roses". The Independent. 19 April 1993.
  25. ^ "Rugby Union: Evergreen Harrison steals the final show". The Independent. 18 April 1994.
  26. ^ "Quantrill wins kicking duel". The Independent. 24 April 1995.
  27. ^ "Rugby Union: Warr effort not enough". The Independent. 21 April 1996.
  28. ^ "Rugby Union: Cumbria capitalise on the Twickenham experience". The Independent. 21 April 1997.
  29. ^ "Cheshire set Twickenham alight!". Wirral Globe. 23 April 1998.
  30. ^ "Rugby Union: Saumi savours grand occasion". The Independent. 23 May 1999.
  31. ^ "Yorkshire bloom on the big stage". The Guardian. 5 June 2000.
  32. ^ "Kirkby puts the fizz into seven-up Yorkshire". The Guardian. 28 May 2001.
  33. ^ "Hitchmough's glittering show". The Telegraph.

External links

This page was last edited on 24 May 2019, at 19:40
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