Hull slay Wembley demon in Cup classic

Hull FC have ended their Wembley hoodoo in style after coming from behind to defeat Warrington 12-10 in a drama-charged Challenge Cup final.

The Black and Whites were down 10-0 but secured victory thanks to late tries to Mahe Fonua and Jamie Shaul.

It was an action-packed Cup final that had a bit of everything.

The Wolves kicked off in the first half through Kurt Gidley at a warm and humid Wembley Stadium.

Marc Sneyd‘s kicking game started to cause the Wire some problems early with two bombs left uncontested.

Both teams tried to keep things simple and mistake-free in the opening stages, waiting for the other to make an error.

In the 13th minute Chris Sandow found touch with a 40-20, but the Hull FC defence held firm in the next set.

In the 15th minute the halfback forced a goal-line drop-out. But again the Black and Whites kept them out.

It was a cagey opening affair punctuated by some big tackles and solid defence.

And then the game opened up in an instant when Hull FC were attacking on Warrington’s line.

Sandow intercepted a pass from Frank Pritchard and ran down field 90 metres, Jamie Shaul eventually pulling him down just a few metres from the try-line.

But Shaul’s chase was in vain as Matty Russell scarpered over from the next play and the Wire took a 6-0 lead.

They went close to scoring on the next set as they again went 90 metres. Toby King and Steve Michaels then came together in a clash of heads.

But the score remained at 6-0 at half-time.

With only one try in the match it was all to play for in the second half.

Just after the restart Warrington were given a penalty after a ball steal from Ryan Atkins.

But Gidley fluffed his shot at goal and the Wire stayed 6-0 in front. It would prove to be a costly miss.

Hull FC were almost over for a try in the 44th minute after a Sneyd grubber but Stefan Ratchford grounded the ball for a drop-out.

The game was opening up now and both sides started to chance their arm.

In the 51st minute a bit of magic from Ben Currie forced a goal-line drop-out.

In the next set Ryan Atkins was held up over the line.

Warrington were pushing for their second try and they had it soon thanks to the brilliance of Daryl Clark.

The hooker darted and dummied, broke down the left hand side and found Currie in support to score.

Gidley missed from the sideline but the Wire had a precious 10-point buffer heading into the final 25 minutes.

Soon after a shoulder charge from Gidley on Michaels left both players bleeding.

But poor ball security was costing Hull FC as Mark Minichiello spilled the ball.

Gildey was then replaced bleeding from the face after a heavy collision.

However, time was running out for the Black and Whites.

On 59 minutes Sneyd breathed some life into his team with a great 40-20.

In the next set Scott Taylor was held up over the try-line. Then Sneyd put up a bomb and Fonua soared high over Russell and Sandow to score.

It was exactly what Hull FC needed and it got them back in the game.

Sneyd’s conversion was good and it was suddenly 10-6 with 18 minutes left.

The pure physicality of the game started to catch up with players dropping like flies and seeking medical contention.

It was brutal contest with no quarter given. Both Gildey and Ben Westwood were off and would not return.

In the 67th minute Sneyd chipped into Warrington’s in-goal and Michaels dived for the ball. It was sent to the video referee who correctly ruled no try.

But Hull FC kept coming and grabbed the winner through another Sneyd kick.

The halfback recovered his own kick and passed to Shaul to dive over for the crucial try.

Sneyd then added the extras to give his side a precious 12-10 lead with seven minutes left.

The game had been turned on its head and Warrington tried to grab back the lead.

In the 78th minute Currie forced his way over the line but lost the ball millimetres before the try-line. A fantastic tackle from Danny Houghton helped the ball loose.

The Black and Whites held firm in the final 90 seconds to finally end their drought at Wembley.

Marc Sneyd was awarded the Lance Todd trophy.

 

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