Whilst Wigan had been sweating over the league title,
Leeds had been waiting for Wembley for weeks. Including one such match at St
Helens that saw them rest, or claim injuries, to so many players that they
lost 68-0 with a team of youngsters. Wigan were aiming for the sixth
Challenge Cup Final success in a row and after a tight first ten minutes,
Martin Offiah set them on their way with a blistering 90 metre try in the
13th Minute. That made it 4-0 and then in the 27th Minute, a failure by Alan
Tait to collect a Shaun Edwards bomb gifted Andy Farrell a try that made it
10-0. By half time Frano Botica had kicked a penalty for a 12-0 lead.
Leeds came out strong second half but first strangely
kicked a penalty to reduce the lead to 12-2. That decision didn't look so
daft when Gary Connolly's failure to take a bomb allowed James Lowes to send
Jim Fallon over in the right corner in the 47th Minute. That rally continued
four minutes later when a knock on from Barrie-Jon Mather allowed Fallon to
gather ten minutes out and send Garry Schofield in the right corner again.
Unfortunately for Leeds, Graham Holroyd couldn't convert either try and so
Wigan still led 12-10. Botica kicked a penalty for 14-10 before Wigan found
another try from deep to claim a try on 64 minutes. Under the shadows of his
own posts, Mick Cassidy broke on a diagonal run towards the left wing. Leeds
could handle his pace but not that of the supporting Offiah who beat Fallon
in a race of the last 60 metres. Botica converted for 20-10. Sam Panapa's
72nd Minute try then sealed the victory for 26-10 with Leeds 17 year old
Francis Cummins 80 metre interception return only being a consolation with
three minutes to go.
Leeds 0 Wigan 12
78,348 (Gate Reciepts: £2,032,839)
Dave Campbell (Widnes)
Live Coverage on BBC 1 during "Grandstand" - Commentary: Ray
French & Steve Simms
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