1st July 2017, 20:00 | ChallengeCup

Lucky 7s: Halifax v St Helens, Challenge Cup Final 1987


The Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-finals are upon us and to commemorate the occasion we look at a blast from the past from when Halifax met St. Helens at Wembley Stadium.

In attendance was a staggering 91,267 eager eyed spectators awaiting the action to unfold.

Halifax were looking for their first Cup since 1939 after years of heartache for the West Yorkshire side including a trio of Challenge Cup losses in a row.

Saints wanted to make it six Challenge Cups in their trophy cabinet, preceding their decade of dominance that would catapult them into being the most feared side in England.

The 2nd of May 1987 was the date for one of the most closely contested finals of all time, Fax were lead out by Chris Anderson, player-coach at the time and St. Helens had Chris Arkwright leading the line.

Saints kicked off but it was the opposing team who broke the deadlock curtesy of Wilf George who leaped over the line.

Fax then followed up with Seamus McCallion wisely barging over catching their opponents off guard but the Saints reacted promptly with Mark Elia bagging a try.

Fax’s lead was almost pushed out of reach when Graham Eadie touched down under the posts after dodging two last-ditch tackles, Colin Whitfield converted all three tries.

However, it wasn’t over yet as Eadie’s try was cancelled out by a stunning solo run thanks to Paul Loughlin who narrowed the score line, making it just 18-12 to Fax.

John Pendlebury then capitalised on a loose ball to deliver a perfectly executed drop-goal, creating a seven-point gap with only minutes remaining.

Saints responded with interchange Paul Round and Loughlin’s three conversions that put his side within touching distance of Fax and engineered a tense wait until the final whistle.

John Holdsworth sounded the whistle to break Saints hearts, in-turn sending Fax’s travelling fans into pandemonium.

A stellar performance from full back Eadie earned him the Lance Todd trophy to make the 19-18 victory even sweeter.

Fax had overcome the odds to combat the Saints and were presented with their winner’s medals by Prince Phillip prior to lifting the infamous Challenge Cup trophy.