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12th April 1924: Oldham 4 Wigan 21 (Challenge Cup Final)
Posted by cherryandwhite on November 23 2013 - 03:03
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Oldham 4 Wigan 21 - Saturday 12th April 1924
Venue: Athletic Grounds, Rochdale
Competition: Challenge Cup Final
Kick Off: 3:30pm

Teams
- Wigan Position Oldham 1
1 Jim Sullivan Full Back Ernie Knapman 1
2 Johnny Ring Winger Sid Rix 2
3 Tommy Howley Centre Billy Hall 3
4 Tommy Parker Centre Alan Woodward 4
5 Attie Van Heerden Winger Joe Corsi 5
6 Sid Jerram Stand Off George Hesketh 6
7 Danny Hurcombe Scrum Half Alf Bates 7
8 Bert Webster Prop Jack Collins 8
9 Harry Banks Hooker Ambrose Baker 9
10 George Van Rooyen Prop Alf Tomkins 10
11 Fred Brown 2nd Row Bob Sloman 11
12 Fred Roffey 2nd Row Albert Brough 12
13 Jack Price L.Forward Herman Hilton 13
- Tommy McCarthy Trainer Charles Marsden -

Scoresheet
Wigan 21 --- Oldham 4
Tries (5):
Fred Roffey
Attie Van Heerden
Tommy Parker
Jack Price
Johnny Ring
--- Tries (0):
Goals:
Jim Sullivan 3/6
--- Goals:
Ernie Knapman 1/1
Albert Brough 1/1

Report
Wigan's first Challenge Cup success came in the 1923-1924 season. It was their third Challenge Cup Final having previously lost to Broughton 4-0 in 1911 and Huddersfield 21-10 in 1920.

The progression to the final began with a tough tie against neighbours Leigh at Central Park. Both sides were competing towards the top of the table and this was reflected in a tight contest that Wigan nicked 7-5. South African Attie Van Heerden scored the Wigan try with a two goals from Jim Sullivan.

Round 2 was much more straight forward contest as they battered Broughton 49-0 at Central Park. Johnny Ring scored a hat-trick whilst Tommy Howley, Syd Jerram, Fred Roffey and Van Heerden all claimed two tries apiece.

The Quarter Finals saw Wigan drawn away at Hunslet in a much tougher contest than the previous round. Tries from Howley (2) and Van Heerden saw Wigan progress in a hard thought 13-8 win.

The Semi Final saw Wigan draw Barrow. The Cumbrian side were pretty low in the table, whilst Wigan were top of the league, so we were massive favourites in this clash at The Willows in Salford. That huge favouritism was reflected in the final score with Wigan winning 30-5 thanks to tries from Danny Hurcombe (2), Ring (2), Van Heerden (2), Harry Banks and Jack Price.

The opponents in the final were Oldham, who the time they were one of Wigan's biggest rivals. The two sides had met in the Championship Final two years earlier with Wigan coming out winners. They were also battling towards the top of the table this year as well with Wigan finishing 1st and Oldham 3rd, although neither side would end up winning the Championship play offs.

Wembley Stadium had been opened the year before this final was played but it was still five years before the decision was made to try out playing the final at the famous old stadium. So this particular final was played at the less famous "Athletic Grounds", which was the home of Rochdale Hornets until 1988.

Back in 1924 the modern era of "health & safety" was unheard of and the crowd which turned up for this final was way to big for the size of the venue. The fans were spilling onto the pitch with mounted police struggling to force them back. Many more supporters were locked outside. The situation was so daft that players collided with a man on crutches at one point as fans stood right up to the touchline.

The match itself saw Oldham draw first blood with a penalty goal from Ernie Knapman in the 15th Minute. That gave them a 2-0 lead after Jim Sullivan had missed an earlier penalty for Wigan.

Two minutes later though Wigan had the games first try with Fred Brown hacking on, and then collecting, a loose ball before sending Fred Roffey over. Sullivan missed the conversion but Wigan now led 3-2 (a try was only worth three points prior to the 1983-1984 season).

Then on the half hour Wigan increased their lead further. Than man Van Heerden made sure he completed the feat of scoring in every cup round with a try in this final. It was a great try. Jack Price had sent Tommy Parker breaking away and seemingly heading into touch he got a kick away which saw Van Heerden racing with Oldham's Joe Corsi for the ball. The Wigan man won the race. and with Jim Sullivan converting, the lead had been extended to 8-2, although Oldham kicked a second penalty goal before half time to leave the score 8-4 at the break.

Second half was all Wigan. Two tries in 15 minutes from first Parker then Jack Price put Wigan 14-4. Sullivan had failed to convert either try and nailed a massive 48 metre penalty goal on the hour made to make it 16-4. That kick established a three score lead for the Cherry and Whites and they never looked back from that.

The game was completed with a fifth Wigan try in the 70th minute as Johnny Ring intercepted a pass from Joe Corsi before burning off Sid Rix for pace in scoring close to the posts. Sullivan's conversion rounded off a comprehensive 21-4 victory and sealed Wigan's first Challenge Cup Success.


Incident Pattern
15th Minute Wigan 00 Oldham 02

Penalty Goal: Ernie Knapman (1/1)

17th Minute Wigan 03 Oldham 02 Try: Fred Roffey
- Wigan 03 Oldham 02

J.Sullivan Missed Conversion (0/1)

30th Minute Wigan 06 Oldham 02 Try: Attie Van Heerden
- Wigan 08 Oldham 02

Conversion: Jim Sullivan (1/2)

38th Minute Wigan 08 Oldham 04 Penalty Goal: Albert Brough (1/1)
Half Time Wigan 08 Oldham 04
47th Minute Wigan 11 Oldham 04 Try: Tommy Parker
- Wigan 11 Oldham 04

J.Sullivan Missed Conversion (1/3)

55th Minute Wigan 14 Oldham 04 Try: Jack Price
- Wigan 14 Oldham 04

J.Sullivan Missed Conversion (1/4)

60th Minute Wigan 16 Oldham 04 Penalty Goal: Jim Sullivan (2/5)
70th Minute Wigan 19 Oldham 04 Try: Johnny Ring
- Wigan 21 Oldham 04 Conversion: Jim Sullivan (3/6)
Full Time Wigan Warriors 18 St Helens 12

Referee: Reverend Frank Chambers (Dewsbury)
Attendance: 40,786
Weather: Overcast.

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