The attempt at conversion narrowly failed, but Hull showed signs of panic as Leeds now crowded on full sail.
John's Cup Final in 1887, was the only remaining link between the two cup teams. Potter set up a club record by kicking twelve goals in one match. Potter, incidentally was at this time the heaviest man in the team, weighing 13 stones 9 Ibs., and a rare half-back he made. Leeds opened the season in splendid style, losing only one of their first five matches. It has been well said that" hope springs eternal in the human breast", and it is therefore no doubt equally true to say that the Leeds Committee, players and supporters looked forward with keen enthusiasm to the commencement of this season in spite of all the disappointments of the previous campaign. The tide turned a week later at Halifax where a hard fought victory by three points to nil, provided the tonic which the players so badly needed. and at the end of January we had sustained only four losses out of twenty-one matches and were strong challengers for a place in the" first-four" Several games in this successful spell are worthy of special mention. But this latter defeat held some consolation in the fact that Jarman, who W:l S to become a .. As fine a forward as ever played for Leeds, Billy Jarman was to pay the supreme sacrifice in the Great War, being called to the Colours immediately following his participation in the 1914 tour of Australasia. Now leading by 5 points to 3, the Leeds defence did not waver in the face of a desperate rally by the home team, and there was no further score.
This system of control was put to the test in the Lancashire County Trial Match and found to be impracticable, although improvements In the scrummaging were apparent. The adoption of professionalism completely severed the last remaining link with the Rugby Union game, whose players. turn" to the Northern Union game in increasing numbers. This defeat was followed by three more in quick succession, so that on October 8th, when Hunslet won at Headingley by nine points to two, with Albert Goldthorpe contributing one of those dropped goals for which he was to become famous, Leeds had the unenviable record of having gained only one victory out of their first seven engagements. This splendid start to the league programme was maintained. Australia-Bolewski; Rosenfeld, Devereux, Deane, Heidke; Butler, Halloway; O'Malley, Bevidon, Pearce, Hennessey, Courtney, Walsh. Hunslet proved to be much too strong at Parkside, on Boxing Day, and the cup of sorrow was full when Wakefield Trinity romped to victory at Headingley two days later. Leeds, however, replied almost immediately Barron scoring a try in the corner as the result of a clever kick by Ware, who was playing at stand-off.
They were, however, foiled by goal kicks in the last few minutes, Bown dropping two goals and Baty placing a penalty. In addition to Tommy Summersgill, who made a welcome re-appearance from retirement, Leeds introduced: G. Of these matches one only was won, and two were drawn, so that there was little at stake when Hunslet were entertained at Headingley in the last match of the season. Then with only ten minutes remaining for play, Young put in a long clearing kick to establish Leeds on the Keighley line.
Leading by eight points to nil at half time, they had to face a strong wind in the second half, but they defended bravely and still held a lead of eight points to five in the closing stages. The last match of the season was the 1st Round Northern Union Cup-tie at Normanton, where the following Leeds team met with defeat by five points to nil: Jagger; Lumley, Summersgill, Connor, Willey; Hallas, Jackson; Gregg, W. Glover, Allison, Westmoreland, Moon, Fothergill, Walker. One remarkable feature of the season's work is the fact that more than fifty players were called upon for first-team duty, and as no fewer than twenty-eight of those players were making their first appearance in the Leeds jersey, there is probably little need to look further for the causes of failure. This was a tough assignment and only the most optimistic could have anticipated that Leeds would gain a place in the League semi-finals. Excitement was intense as the score still stood at four points each.
Perhaps the performances of the team merited nothing better. Although there was no further score before half-time, it looked odds against a Leeds victory, particularly as Sanders was unable to take any further part in the match.