Memories of a 1991 Challenge Cup win over Wakefield

Kevin Ward. Picture: SWPix
Kevin Ward. Picture: SWPix
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Sutton Manor Colliery closes, the Archbishop of Canterbury's special envoy, Terry Waite, is released after more than four years in captivity in Beirut and Spurs beat Nottingham Forest 2-1 in the FA Cup Final at Wembley.


The year? It's 1991 - and the last time Saints played Wakefield Trinity in the Rugby League Challenge Cup, if my records are 100 per cent correct.

The second round tie was staged at Knowsley Road on February 23 with St Helens winning 16-2 in front of a crowd of 4,586.

New Zealander Mike McClennan was at the helm and went on to steer the team to their third final in five seasons but like the two previous occasions in 1987 and 1989, under the guidance of the legendary Alex Murphy, they had to swallow the bitter taste of defeat again and to make matters worse it was achieved by Wigan who a few years earlier had nilled their neighbours on the same stage.

Quite a number of the current St Helens squad weren't even born at the time - and maybe most, unless they are Anoraks, won't even recall the names of the players involved in the Saints-Trinity tie 28 years ago, but I'll jog their memories.

The squad that day was: Phil Veivers, Alan Hunte, Tea Ropati, Paul Loughlin ,Les Quirk, Mark Bailey, Jonathan Griffiths, Stuart Evans, Bernard Dwyer, Kevin Ward, John Harrison, George Mann, Shane Cooper, Paul Bishop, Paul Jones.

Tries came from Hunte and Harrison with Loughlin landing four goals.

Saints will be looking for a similar result next month but as they found out in the win at Huddersfield on Sunday the route to Wembley is as tough as ever.

Latest odds: St Helens 11/8, Warrington Wolves 3/1, Hull FC 9/2, Catalans Dragons 5/1, Wakefield Trinity and Hull KR 12/1 Halifax and Bradford Bulls 50/1.