8th August 2018, 15:00 | ChallengeCup
John Kear’s Sheffield Eagles completed a Challenge Cup giant-killing against Wigan Warriors to lift the Challenge Cup for the first time in 1998.
Sheffield struggled during the Super League season finishing mid-table and winning just eight of their league games.
Wigan went into the final as favourites losing just two of their 23 Super League games on the way to winning the first ever Super League Grand Final.
Wigan had dominated previous years winning eight Challenge Cup finals from 1988, St Helens broke Wigan’s run winning the 1996 and 1997 final, but Wigan returned to Wembley after beating Keighley Cougars, Dewsbury Rams and St Helens to make it to the semi-final.
Sheffield navigated their way to the semi-final with wins over Leigh Centurions, Egremont Rangers and Castleford Tigers.
Headingley hosted the semi-final between Sheffield and Salford Reds, while Wigan Warriors played at the Alfred McAlpine Stadium in Huddersfield against London Broncos.
Sheffield went into the game as the underdogs, to some, Wigan’s name was already written on the Challenge Cup, it was classic ‘David and Goliath’.
Sheffield’s tactics weren’t complicated their forwards carried the ball up the pitch, they had a strong defence and Mark Aston, who went onto win the Lance Todd Trophy would gain field position with the boot.
Aston kicked two goals and added to his sides tally with a drop goal, while Dave Watson inspired the defence with two try-saving tackles.
Eagles went ahead in the first five minutes as Nick Pickney collected an up and under in the corner to open the scoring.Matt Crowther added to Eagles’ lead in the first-half with a try in the corner, before Aston’s drop goal added to his sides tally to go into the break 11-2 ahead.
Darren Turner came off the bench to score a try for Eagles in the second-half, Mark Bell scored a try for Wigan with 20 minutes to play, however, John Kear’s side held on to win their first ever Challenge Cup Final.