Carnegie Challenge Cup Final
30 Aug 2008
St Helens 28 - 16 Hull FC
Attendance: 82, 821
Clear favourites St Helens withstood a heroic second half comeback by Hull FC to win 28-16 and claim their third consecutive Carnegie Challenge Cup title on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Wembley.
Daniel Anderson's men had racked up a 10-0 lead by the half time break thanks to tries from Matt Gidley and Francis Meli before Hull battled their way back into the match in the second half.
A Kirk Yeaman double, with both tries converted by Danny Tickle put Hull ahead 10-12 with 15 minutes to go. The first try came from an interception of a Keiron Cunnigham pass that opened up the field for Yeaman who raced 75m to score a solo try.
But Saints quickly hit back and two minutes after the black and whites went ahead New Zealand international Francis Meli picked up his second try of the afternoon courtesey of a feed from Leon Pryce. Sean Long promptly added the two extra points and once again Saints were back in pole position leading 16-12.
Not long after Jon Wilkin ran under the posts to score Saints fourth try of the game, Sean Long picked up the two extra points after an easy punt from in front of the sticks and in doing so increased Saints lead to ten points.
However, Hull FC were determined not to go down without a fight and a few minutes later responded with a try from Gareth Rayon. Danny Tickle kicked wide of the posts failing to add the two extra points.
Hull's last push for a dramatic comeback proved to be in vain as moments later Keiron Cunningham fed a charging Leon Pryce who touched down to secure Saints fifth try of the afternoon. Sean Long's left foot then added another two points to widen the margin yet further and secure a 28-16 win over Hull FC and Saints third consecutive Carnegie Challenge Cup victory.
Paul Wellens was named the Lance Todd tropy winner for his outstanding performance at full-back.
St Helens: Wellens, Gardner, Gidley, Talau, Meli, Pryce, Long, Hargreaves, Cunningham, Graham, Wilkin, Flannery, Sculthorpe.
Interchanges: Gilmour, Roby, Clough, Fa'asavalu
Hull: Byrne, Sing, G Horne, Yeaman, Raynor, Washbrook, Lee, Dowes, Berrigan, Cusack, Manu, Tickle, Radford
Interchanges: R Horne, Carvell, Briscoe, Thackery
Referee: S Ganson (St Helens)