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1984-1985 Challenge Cup Final

Wigan v Hull - 1984-1985 Challenge Cup Final.
Saturday 4th May 1985. Kick Off 3:00pm at Wembley Stadium, London.

This final is regarded by many as the greatest ever cup final.

A see-saw battle which went right down to the wire and provided fans with some fantastic memories.

Brett Kenny's sublime try and the grinning face of Henderson Gill being two of them.

Kenny and fellow Australian John Ferguson played a huge part in this battle as did Peter Sterling at scrum half for Hull, who these days is the Australian version of "Stevo" for his work as a commentator for Channel 9.

Back then Wigan had a joint coaching team in the form of Alan McInnes and Colin Clarke. They had the task of taking us to our first cup final win since the defeat of Hunslet twenty years earlier.

It was perfect cup final weather, warm and sunny, but the match got off to a slow start. Just two minutes on the clock and an early penalty was kicked by Lee Crooks for Hull.

Hull increased that lead on 11 minutes when winger Kevin James scored in the right corner. The try couldn't be converted so the lead was 6-0.

Wigan leveled six minutes later as Kenny and loose forward Ian Potter combined to send John Ferguson over in the corner. Henderson Gill converted with a superb touchline kick.

Then on 27 minutes came a quite breathtaking try. Kenny took a long pass from Mike Ford and shot off like a bullet. On an arching run he beat Hull full back Gary Kemble for the try. That gave Wigan the lead for the first time, David Stephenson's conversion making it 12-6.

Hull came back with a second penalty from Crooks before another brilliant Wigan try.

Henderson Gill raced away to score from 60 metres, after yet more magic from Kenny, right on the stroke of half time.

This try is probably best described by BBC commentator Ray French at the time.

He said: "Not sensible play this by Wigan, normally a side would take the ball away from the posts to avoid any goal kicks. Oh, good ball from Kenny, to Stephenson, he's got Gill outside him! Now then, he's got 60 yards to go, can he go round Gary Kemble? Oh, he's beaten him. Oh, as good a try as you'll see. All made, for Henderson Gill, by that beautiful pass from Brett Kenny!"

That great moment sent Wigan into the dressing rooms leading 16-8 at half time.

Into the second half and the Brett Kenny show continued. This time he combined with half back partner Mike Ford from a scrum to send a young supporting Shaun Edwards over behind the posts. A conversion from Gill increased the lead to 22-8 just three minutes after the break.

At this point it was looking like an easy Wigan victory but Hull came straight back.

Just two minutes after Edwards' try, Peter Sterling sent Steve Evans over in the corner for an unconverted try.

Any fight back looked to have been doomed when on 51 minutes, Ferguson picked up a loose ball and scored his second try of the game. Gill hit another touchline conversion to make the score 28-12 and the game looked dead.

But Hull, led by Sterling, never gave up and score three tries in the last 16 minutes to set up a nail biting finish.

James Leuluai scored on 64 minutes then two tries in two minutes from Gary Divorty and Leuluai again made the score 28-24 with four minutes to go.

Wigan hung on in the final minutes to win the cup final that had everything. Great attacking plays and also great defense. 28-24 suggests that the defense wasn't that good but you have to take into account that most of the tries were scored in the corners.

Luckily for Wigan none of the Hull tries that day were converted. Had they had been the end result would have been completely different!

Team Sheets

Wigan Position Hull
1 Shaun Edwards Full Back Gary Kemble 1
2 John Ferguson Winger Kevin James 2
3 David Stephenson Centre Steve Evans 3
4 Steve Donlan Centre James Leulaui 4
5 Henderson Gill Winger Dane O'Hara 5
6 Brett Kenny Stand Off Fred Ah Kuoi 6
7 Mike Ford Scrum Half Peter Sterling 7
8 Neil Courtney Prop Lee Crooks 8
9 Nicky Kiss Hooker Shaun Patrick 9
10 Brian Case Prop Neil Puckering 10
11 Graeme West 2nd Row John Muggleton 11
12 Brian Dunn 2nd Row Paul Rose 12
13 Ian Potter L.Forward Steve Norton 13
- - - - -
14 Danny Campbell Substitute Garry Schofield 14
15 Nick Du Toit Substitute Gary Divorty 12

Score Sheet

Wigan 28 --- Hull 24
Tries (5):
John Ferguson 2
Brett Kenny
Henderson Gill
Shaun Edwards
- Tries (5):
Kevin James
Steve Evans
James Leuluai 2
Gary Divorty
Goals:
Henderson Gill 3
David Stephenson 1
-

Goals:
Lee Crooks 2

Scoring and Incident Pattern

2nd Minute Wigan 00 Hull 02 Penalty Goal: Lee Crooks
11th Minute Wigan 00 Hull 06 Try: Kevin James
17th Minute Wigan 04 Hull 06 Try: John Ferguson
17th Minute Wigan 06 Hull 06 Conversion: Henderson Gill
27th Minute Wigan 10 Hull 06 Try: Brett Kenny
27th Minute Wigan 12 Hull 06 Conversion: David Stephenson
33rd Minute Wigan 12 Hull 08 Penalty Goal: Lee Crooks
39th Minute Wigan 16 Hull 08 Try: Henderson Gill
Half Time Wigan 16 Hull 08
43rd Minute Wigan 20 Hull 08 Try: Shaun Edwards
43rd Minute Wigan 22 Hull 08 Conversion: Henderson Gill
45th Minute Wigan 22 Hull 12 Try: Steve Evans
51st Minute Wigan 26 Hull 12 Try: John Ferguson
51st Minute Wigan 28 Hull 12 Conversion: Henderson Gill
64th Minute Wigan 28 Hull 16 Try: James Leuluai
74th Minute Wigan 28 Hull 20 Try: Gary Divorty
76th Minute Wigan 28 Hull 24 Try: James Leuluai (2)
Full Time Wigan 28 Hull 24

Other Information

Match Attendance: 97,801
Referee: Ron Campbell (Widnes)
Lance Todd Trophy: Brett Kenny (Wigan)
Weather: Sunny warm day.

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