WELL that off-season went quickly, helped by the autumn test series in which the Saints trio shone.

The years fly quickly, so ahead of my 42nd season attending Saints, it is worth reflecting on some of the highs and lows of watching the men in the red vee, year-by-year.

In the list there will games that will haunt you or the mere mention will raise a smile.

But that is what following the Saints does.


Highlight: You always remember your first time. Saints beat Leeds 16-11 in the John Player Trophy, with Roy Mathias scoring twice.

Low point: Losing the Challenge Cup semi-final to a late Wakefield try.

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Highlight: Roy Mathias (above) scoring 5 tries against Workington just before Christmas.

Low point: Losing to a 12-man Warrington on the league’s opener in a day marred by running battles between rival hooligans on the Edington End.


Highlight: Beating Hull FC 5-3 in the Challenge Cup at a muddy Knowsley Road.

Low point: Cup dream shattered by Hull KR in the second half of the semi at Headingley.


Highlight: Roy Haggerty’s shuffling try in the defeat against Hull FC.

Low point: The Cas home game, where the team were booed off at half time after trailing 31-0.

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Highlight: Roy Haggerty’s two tries in Leeds Challenge Cup win at Headingley.

Low point: Losing to underdogs Featherstone in Challenge Cup quarters (above) after conceding a late John Gilbert score.

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Highlight: Harry Pinner’s masterful performance in the Challenge Cup win over Hull FC (above).

Low point: The one silly tactical kick that handed the Challenge Cup semi-final spot to Wigan.

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Highlight: Mal Meninga *above) surging through to help beat Wigan to win the Lancashire Cup at Central Park – a first cup in seven years.

Low point: Losing to Hull KR in the round one of the Challenge Cup, Garry Clarke sneaking in at the corner seven minutes from time.


Highlight: Mark Elia’s try on Good Friday that stopped Wigan winning the league.

Low point: Getting thrashed 30-2 by Wigan in the Lancashire Cup. It underlined they had advanced in 12 months, Saints had gone backwards.

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Highlight: Beating Leigh to reach Wembley for the first time since 1978.

Low point: Mark Elia having the ball dislodged to scupper what would have been the match-winning score at Wembley. (above).


Highlight: That comeback from 22-6 to win at Wigan to give Saints fans a late Christmas present.

Low point: The shock Challenge Cup knockout at Salford.


Highlight: Les Quirk’s late score to get past Widnes and reach Wembley.

Low point: 27-0.

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Highlight: Les Quirk’s long range try and a battling semi against Wigan at Old Trafford.

Low point: The forward pass between Goodway and Hanley that scuppered those high hopes.


Highlight: The demolition of highly fancied Widnes in the Challenge Cup semis.

Low point: Walking off Wembley after losing 13-8 to Wigan, knowing they were there for the taking.


Highlight: Beating Wigan in the Lancashire Cup semi at Knowsley Road in front of a raucous 17,000 crowd.

Low point: Getting thrashed by the Gene Miles, Martin Offiah and Denis Betts combo in the Premiership final after leading at half time.

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Highlight: Beating Wigan 41-6 on Boxing Day in a game that showed Saints were ready to mix it with Wigan again.

Low point: Kevin Ward’s career-ending broken leg in Good Friday’s drawn game that cost Saints the title.

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Highlight: Steve Prescott getting his first team chance.

Low point: Losing to Warrington in the John Player, marking the end of Mike McClennan.


Highlight: The 16-16 draw at Wigan in the Challenge Cup.

Low point: Getting mullered in the replay at Knowsley Road.


Highlight: Beating Warrington 80-0 in the Regal Trophy semi-final.

Low point: Wigan posting 52 points at Knowsley Road.

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Highlight: Bobbie’s bombs to cap the Ultimate Comeback at Wembley.

Low point: Maybe the Premiership was a game too many after the double.


Highlight: Knocking Wigan out of the cup despite only having 12 men.

Low point: The wheels coming off after Wembley – and that damp squib of a World Club Championship.


Highlight: Challenge Cup win over Warrington in March showed promise

Low point: That heavy defeat by Wigan at Swansea that showed the party was over and things had to change.


Highlight: Winning the Grand Final 8-6 to shock Bradford.

Low point: The Ellery Hanley fiasco.

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Highlight: Tim Jonkers bounding through for a try to wrap up the Grand Final win over Wigan.

Low point: Watching Melbourne Storm defeat Saints in the World Club at a soulless JJB Stadium.

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Highlight: Chris Joynt powering through after collecting Paul Newlove’s pass to help Saints beat Brisbane to win World Club Challenge.

Low point: Conceding 74 points at Leeds after winning the Challenge Cup.


Highlight: The whole movement in the set that led to Sean Long’s drop goal to win the best Grand Final ever against Bradford.

Low point: The week from the weakened team at Bradford to losing to Wigan in the Challenge Cup Final at Murrayfield.


Highlight: Thrashing Bradford Bulls – awesome foursome and all - 35-0 at Odsal. Or Ian Millward’s colourful post-match after the Hull game.

Low point: Darren Britt’s career ending injury suffering a fractured cheekbone in that Hull game.

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Highlight: Beating Wigan to win the Challenge Cup at Cardiff – after seeing off all the best teams en route.

Low point: The betting scandal that derailed a season that promised so much more.

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Highlight: Beating Wigan 75-0 in the Challenge Cup.

Low point: The tackle that inflicted a facial injury on Sean Long that scuppered Saints’ chances of winning the Super League after finishing top (above).

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Highlight: Sean Long picking up the Super League trophy to cap an all-conquering season featuring Jamie Lyon (above).

Low point: The season had to end.


Highlight: Paul Sculthorpe’s try off the bench in the win over Brisbane.

Low point: That Grand Final defeat by Leeds came as such a shock.

St Helens Star: Saints Wembley 2008


Highlight: Made to work for it, but the Wembley win over Hull FC. Nobody there that day thought we would still be waiting for the next one.

Low point: Seeing Daniel Anderson’s frustration as he saw his last game slipping away at Old Trafford against Leeds.


Highlight: Knocking Leeds out of the Challenge Cup at Headingley.

Low point: Losing a tight Grand Final against Leeds.

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Highlight: Keiron Cunningham’s try in the home game against Castleford when all seemed lost.

Low point: Walking out of Knowsley Road for the final time.

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Highlight: Jonny Lomax and Lee Gaskell combining in the first team for the first time in that Super League win at Headingley – and the future looked bright.

Low point: The moment from Michael Shenton dislocating his elbow in the 2011 Grand Final.

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Highlight: Crushing red-haired Leeds 46-6 in the first game under caretaker coaches Mike Rush and Keiron Cunningham and the team lifted from a poor start.

Low point: Saints’ defeat at Bradford that marked the end for Royce Simmons.


Highlight: Joe Greenwood’s try to beat Wigan at Langtree Park.

Low points: Widnes posting 35 points to win at Langtree Park or another lacklustre Magic display at Manchester.

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Highlight: Paul Wellens falling to his knees after Saints had won the Grand Final against Wigan.

Low point: Ben Flower punching Lance Hohaia on the floor. Or the embarrassing League Leaders Shield ‘back in the box’ shenanigans at home to Warrington.


Highlight: Tommy Makinson’s match saving tackle against Warrington at Newcastle’s Magic.

Low point: Watching Paul Wellens limp off the field for the final time at Wigan on Good Friday.


Highlight: Saints 23-4 win at Wigan which showed plenty of spirit as they tried to build some momentum at the end of another patchy season.

Low point: The 47-18 home thrashing by Hull FC in the Challenge Cup.

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Highlight: Beating Hull FC 45-0 at Magic - with a Tommy Makinson special (above) in Justin Holbrook’s first week at Saints.

Low point: The months in the build-up to Keiron Cunningham’s exit from Saints were painful for all.

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Highlight: Ben Barba’s try as Saints won on Good Friday for the first time since 2008.

Low point: The no show at Bolton, with Catalans scuppering Saints’ Wembley hopes.