The first game I've gone for is the Bank Holiday Tuesday Stones European Championship derby at Halifax in what would be are last ever visit to Thrum Hall before the bulldozers arrived to knock it down and it was a Rugby League classic to savour.
Tuesday 27th May 1997
Halifax Blue Sox 26-30 Bradford Bulls
Halifax Blue Sox
Tries: Dean (2), Gillespie 2 (9,23), Amone 2 (18,40)
Goals: Pearson 3/6
Tries: McDermott (30), Knox (59), Spruce 2 (62,64), Scales (70), Loughlin (74)
Goals: McNamara 1/2, Loughlin 2/4
Penalty Count: Halifax 5-3 Bradford
Referee: David Campbell (Widnes)
I was only 12 at the time of this game but I remember it like yesterday, myself and my dad and his three friends left Bradford on the train and got to Halifax for around 3pm whereby we found the pub just up the road by the Bus Station.
Where all the talk beforehand was about Halifax's decision to add two pound to the admission price for the game, just because it was Bradford and we would bring at least two thousand.
But looking at the 6,200 crowd I guess many stayed away although from what I remember when being stood at the shed end, was that it was swarmed by Bradford supporters.
This for mine was the big game of the season and what a game with Halifax putting in a superb opening 40 minutes before the mother of all comebacks when for thw world it looked like it was beyond us.
Halifax went out to any earlier unassailable 20-0 lead before McDermott crashed over at the side of the sticks on thirty minutes which gave us some slight hope.
The Blue Sox in that opening half were white hot, with the relentless defence doing overtime to keep us at bay.
I remember saying to my dad at half-time that our 12 out of 12 record had gone and we wouldn't set a new record after St Helens had gone 12 in a row the previous year.
But then cue the unimaginable as the sheer brilliance of the Bradford attack cut the exhausted Halifax defence to bits.
This was James Lowes at his best as he worked dummy half to perfection sending Knox over to start the comebcak before the long high kick-off saw Spruce take the ball and go down on the Halifax line (back in these days the team that scored the try kicked off) before Scales took three Fax defenders over the line with him and all of a sudden the comeback was a reality.
We pulled the game back to 26-26 and Paul Loughlin had the chance to give us the lead for the first time but his conversion attempt hit the right post and bounced away.
But he made up for that miss just three minutes later when after a 50m Stuart Spruce run, Lowes spotted the Halifax defence at sixes and sevens and put in the grubber beyond them and then cue the biggest cheer of the season for mine (yes even bigger then the one at Don Valley and Odsal after we beat Paris 68-0 to lift the Championship) as Loughlin touched down the speculative kick to the corner and Widnes official Campbell awarded the dramatic winning score.
The conversion was missed but we didn't care, we were so elated at the drama that we had seen.
I didn't see it at the time but Matthew Elliot was jumping up and down with the supporters on the field as the 1997 Bradford Bulls had completed one of the greatest comebacks ever seen.
This game will live long in the memory.
Edited by Tommy The C5t, 02 August 2010 - 04:15 PM.