Challenge Cup final: Sky Sports classics looks at finals gone by

Last Updated: 23/08/13 3:56pm

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Kevin Sinfield is unable to get through a a determined Hull FC defence during the 2005 final, the last time Hull won the trophy

Kevin Sinfield is unable to get through a a determined Hull FC defence during the 2005 final, the last time Hull won the trophy

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The Challenge Cup began in 1896 and is one of Britain's most historic sporting events. We look at some of the classic matches from the competitions show-piece event.

Wigan Warriors meet Hull FC in this year's final at Wembley on Saturday and with 43 Challenge Cup final appearances between them, it is no surprise that both sides feature in our list.

If they can provide a contest to match some of these then the neutrals are in for a treat and fans of Wigan and Hull could be lacking in fingernails by the end of 80 minutes...

1965: Wigan 20 Hunslet 16

Hunslet defied the odds to turn what most fans expected to be a one-sided final into a classic contest. Wigan were a classy side who finished second in the table that season and oozed Challenge Cup final experience.

And the game appeared to be going to form when Wigan led 12-9 at half-time before stretching their advantage to 20-9 when Trevor Lake scored what many consider to be one of the best tries in a final.

Hunslet, who ended the season in 14th place and were playing in their first Challenge Cup final for 31 years, were determined not to roll over, however, and fought back to within four points before finally running out of time.

1980: Hull KR 10 Hull FC 5

The road sign read "Can the last person to leave, please turn out the lights" as fans fled the city for the first Hull derby to be played at Wembley.

Hull KR forward Brian Lockwood was awarded the Lance Todd Trophy as man of the match for an outstanding performance in defence and attack but in terms of individuals, the game is more likely to be remembered as a tale of two kickers.

Many had tipped Hull's accurate Sammy Lloyd to be a match winner but he could only manage one successful effort from five attempts whereas Rovers' Steve Hubbard contributed nine points, including his side's early try.

Hubbard sprained his ankle just before the end and was carried from the field but he limped his way up the famous steps and joined player-coach Roger Millward, who defied a broken jaw to play a crucial role in the win, on the lap of honour.

1985: Wigan 28 Hull 24

Many consider this to be the greatest final ever and with good reason, as the two sides produced an absorbing contest in which fortunes swung from end to end and was in doubt to last minute.

Inspired by Brett Kenny, Wigan made the most of the early running as they raced into a 22-8 lead.

They were still 28-12 in front in the second half but Hull's Peter Sterling sparked a remarkable fightback which produced two tries for James Leuluai and one for Gary Divorty as the gap was closed to four points with less than five minutes to play.

A frantic finale followed as both sides tried to clinch the cup but no further tries were scored and Wigan held on for a memorable win while Kenny became the first Australian to win the Lance Todd trophy.

1998: Sheffield 17 Wigan 8

Sheffield Eagles stunned a Wigan side including Henry Paul (centre) to win the 1998 Challenge Cup final

John Kear's Sheffield sprang the biggest upset in Challenge Cup final history to lift the trophy for the first time.

Wigan lost just two league games out of 23 on their way to winning the inaugural Super League Grand Final that year while Sheffield struggled in mid-table, winning just eight of their league games.

However, the Eagles had not read the script and, inspired by scrum-half Mark Aston, took the game to Wigan and were the better side for large periods. They led 11-2 at half-time thanks to tries from Nick Pinkney and Matt Crowther and there was no way back for Wigan when Darren Turner added a third 12 minutes into the second half.

2005: Hull FC 25 Leeds 24

The Millennium Stadium was the venue for Hull's last Cup final success, which was another against-the-odds triumph for John Kear.

Although Hull had beaten reigning champions Bradford and cup holders St Helens en route to Cardiff, Leeds were clear favourites and they looked to have secured victory thanks to a late Marcus Bai try and Kevin Sinfield conversion which put them 24-19 up.

However, in a breathtaking finish, Hull-born Paul Cooke went over just before the end for Hull's fourth try and Danny Brough kicked his fourth goal, to add to his earlier drop goal, to snatch it.

Richard Whiting, Kirk Yeaman and Richard Horne are Hull's survivors from that day.

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