LEEDS SUFFERED a controvercial home defeat by Castleford in the John Player Special Trophy 30 years ago today.
Leeds went into the BBC-televised first-round tie in confident mood and good form having won their previous five games.
That included a 33-12 victory over Castleford in the Yorkshire Cup final at Elland Road three weeks earlier.
The cup final defeat had been Castleford’s first of the season and coach Darryl van de Velde’s team had won their three games since.
As unbeaten first division leaders they were also expecting to go all the way in the second knockout competition of the season.
The outcome of a thrilling tie hinged on an incident in the first half when Castleford scrum-half Bob Beardmore appeared to trip Leeds centre Garry Schofield.
Afterwards, the Loiners’ coach – and Castleford legend – Malcolm Reilly claimed Beardmore had prevented a certain try and should have been sent off.
Against 12 men Leeds may have run away with the game, but in the end Castleford hit back from an interval deficit to clinch a famous success against their fierce rivals.
Leeds led 12-6 at the break through classic tries by Cliff Lyons and Carl Gibson and two goals from David Stephenson.
They piled on the pressure in the second period, but Castleford held out and crucially scored next to level the scores. That knocked the heart out of Leeds and the visitors found the form which had seen them dominate in the league, going on to seal a comprehensive 21-12 success.
Full-back Gary Belcher produced an outstanding man-of-the-match performance for Castleford, scoring a try and kicking a one-pointer.
Giles Boothroyd and Kevin Beardmore also touched down and Martin Ketteridge kicked four goals.
Castleford’s hopes of going on to lift the trophy were shattered in the next round when David Hobbs’ drop goal proved the difference in Bradford Northern’s 19-18 win at Wheldon Road.
(Tries: Lyons, Gibson. Goals: Stephenson 2)
Castleford 21 (Tries: Belcher, Boothroyd, K Beardmore. Goals: Ketteridge 4. Drop goal Belcher)
November 12, 1988, John Player Special Trophy round one.
Leeds: Spencer, Ettingshausen, Schofield, Stephenson, Gibson, Lyons, Ashton, Crooks (Brooke-Cowden), Maskill, Waddell, Powell, Medley (Price), Heron.
Castleford: Belcher, Plange, Marchant, Boothroyd, Horo, Anderson, R Beardmore, Ward (Sampson), K Beardmore, England, Ketteridge, Gibbs, Joyner.
Referee: B Simpson.
ON THIS DAY
1989: Colin Maskill kicked seven goals from as many attempts and Gary Divorty bagged a brace of tries in a 38-28 win at Salford on this day in 1989. Other try scorers were Garry Schofield, Vince Fawcett, Paul Dixon and Gary Lord.
1968: Leeds were beaten 25-11 at Leigh in a BBC Floodlit Trophy second round tie half a century ago today. Rob Cowan scored two tries, Frank Brown also crossed and Bev Risman added a goal.
1960: Leeds proved far too strong for visitors York exactly 58 years ago, winning 37-4. Fred Pickup led the way with a hat-trick, Wilf Rosenberg and Ken Thornett both crossed twice and Derek Hallas and Del Hodgkinson got the others. Lewis Jones added five goals.
1932: Leeds’ greatest-ever try scorer Eric Harris touched down four times in a 30-13 home win over Bramley on this day in 1932. Bob Smith and Stan Smith shared the other four tries and Joe Thompson (2) and Evan Williams added goals.
Former Leeds Rhinos prop Ryan Bailey is celebrating his 35th birthday today.