BURIED deep in the Warrington Guardian archives, dated Thursday, March 27, 1975, is the match report from the last time Warrington beat Leeds in a Challenge Cup semi final.
The first paragraph read: “Three tries by the Welsh Wonder, John Bevan, a grand team effort and a magnificent defensive display in the second half saw Warrington through to their second successive Rugby League Challenge Cup Final.”
The game had been played five days earlier, on Saturday, March 22, at Central Park on ‘good ground but in windy conditions’ in front of a crowd of 13,168.
John Bevan’s first came after Parry Gordon broke on the left, with the Welshman taking over and proving unstoppable from 25 yards.
‘Wire’ led 8-0 at half time after another Bevan try and, despite two Leeds penalties offering a brief comeback, Bevan fended off a shoulder charge to land his hat-trick.
Twenty-six penalties and 23 scrums after Fred Lindop got the game under way, Warrington were 11-4 winners and had in turn booked a Challenge Cup Final clash with Widnes on May 10.
Guardian sports editor John Dickens concluded: “They had the finishing power of John Bevan that Leeds just could not match and in Parry Gordon, Warrington had a gem. He has sparkled so often and it is not too late for England’s selectors to correct the appalling error of leaving him out of their plans.”