Hull ended a 74-year wait for Wembley glory on this day in 2016 as they produced a breathtaking late fightback to beat Warrington 12-10 in a classic Challenge Cup final.
The Black and Whites had never won in eight previous visits to the national stadium, a dismal record fans of neighbours Hull KR frequently reminded them about in their own cheeky version of their arch rivals’ anthem ‘Old Faithful’.
That gloating was made all the worse because Rovers beat Hull in the 1980 final. Hull did subsequently win two Challenge Cup finals but the adapted lyrics could remain as their 1982 success over Widnes came after a replay at Elland Road and the brilliant 2005 defeat of Leeds was at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium during the Wembley rebuild.
Heading into the final quarter of the Warrington clash it seemed the agony would be prolonged.
The Wolves had taken the initiative after a hard-fought first half when Matty Russell wriggled over six minutes before the break following an interception and break by Chris Sandow. Daryl Clark then cut through the Hull defence to send Ben Currie over in the corner.
Yet, crucially, Kurt Gidley failed to convert the second Warrington try and also missed a straightforward penalty, leaving Hull in with a chance which they seized after a game-turning 40-20 kick from Marc Sneyd.
Rising to the challenge, Sneyd then set up Mahe Fonua with a towering kick 18 minutes from time and converted himself from out wide. Another Sneyd kick then led to Jamie Shaul’s critical try with seven minutes remaining and the conversion that followed ensured the Hull half-back would claim the Lance Todd Trophy as man of the match.
Yet the drama was not over. With less than two minutes remaining Currie looked set to snatch victory back for Warrington but tireless Hull hooker Danny Houghton produced a sensational last-gasp tackle to stop him inches short of the line.
Hull coach Lee Radford said: “That’s the most important tackle I’ve ever been involved with. There were some periods where we looked gone, but we found a bit.”
It was certainly a dramatic way to end the hoodoo and, free of the curse, Hull went on to beat Wigan in the 2017 final.
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