ON this day in 1990 Saints played Castleford in the Preliminary round of the Challenge Cup.

It was definitely a tough prospect at the time given the club had been in some turmoil following the sacking of club legend Alex Murphy after Christmas.

They went into the game with Shane Cooper in caretaker charge, until Mike McClennan arrived, looking to end a run of four consecutive defeats.

The previous week they had slumped to a dispiriting 30-18 loss to Leigh.

Eight teams went into a preliminary round - four pure, unseeded luck of the draw pairings necessary to create 32 teams for round one.

To underline the difference in the draws between then and today, Leeds were knocked out in the Preliminary round against Bradford Northern whereas city neighbours Bison Sports were handed a clear passage to round one.

Saints overcame the hurdle with a 39-12 triumph watched by an 8,662 gate.

Prop Andy Bateman grabbed a brace of tries, and there were also scores from fellow prop Stuart Evans, scrum half Sean Devine and second row Roy Haggerty.

Caretaker coach Cooper chipped over a drop goal with 19-year-old Devine kicking nine goals.

Saints: Connolly; Hunte, Bailey, Veivers, Kay; Holding, Devine; Evans, Groves, Bateman, Forber, Haggerty, Cooper. Subs: Jones, Arkwright.