This cup final between Wigan and Bradford came
just seven days after Bradford had ended Wigan's double hopes after
defeating them 15-3 in a Championship Play Off Semi Final at
Bradford were also hoping to retain the trophy
they had won by beating Leeds the previous year. Arguably they were
the favourites then but this was still a formidable Wigan outfit.
That play off result gave Bradford the theological edge
going into the final and more nerves were perhaps piled on by the
final being attended by the reigning King George VI. Yes, the one who
just recently had that film "The King's Speech" made about him.
He was the guest of honour and would present the trophy to the
Rugby League was obviously on a
high in the post war era because this Wembley final attracted a
first ever "all ticket" crowd for a cup final with 91,465 in
attendance. The weather for the final though was atrocious with
heavy rain and wind battering the pitch. That contributed to a poor
contest in which chances were limited.
try went to Wigan and it came from nothing really in the 20th
minute. Bradford winger Eric Batten was trying to clearance kick
away but Jack Hilton charged it down and then beat Batten to the
ball before scoring. Ted Ward converted for a 5-0 lead.
That lead didn't last long though because Bradford soon hit back.
Just four minutes later Ken Traill put a kick over to Alan Edwards
on the right wing and he scored. Ernie Ward couldn't convert, so
Wigan still remained in the lead 5-3.
believe that 5-3 lead remained all the way until the 79th Minute.
Wigan had dominated the territory but the weather was making it
hard to score. The match sealing try was scored by Frank Barton.
Fortunately Ted Ward's failure to kick an easy conversion didn't
matter because the whistle soon went afterwards.
So Wigan had won their third Challenge Cup and it was Joe Egan who
received the famous trophy from the King himself. Bradford must
have played their part though because it was their prop Frank
Whitcombe who won the Lance Todd Trophy despite being on the losing
side. I think also the fact a prop won the man of the match, pretty
much summed up this final - the weather spoiled it!
Wigan then had returned the previous weeks favour of ending
Bradford's double hopes and sadly for them they also lost the
league championship final to Warrington to end the season with no
silverware at all.