Liam Marshall crossed the whitewash in the 77th minute to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat for Wigan Warriors in Saturday’s 16-14 Betfred Challenge Cup victory over Huddersfield Giants.
The Challenge Cup – which was first held in 1897 when Batley defeated St Helens 10-3 – took place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the first time and it proved to be an absolute classic between these two Super League outfits.
A penalty from Tui Lolohea and a Ricky Leutele try put the Giants 6-0 up inside the opening 20 minutes, only for Harry Smith to collect an offload from Morgan Smithies and burst through to level the scores.
Huddersfield managed to go back ahead through Chris McQueen – who ended up being awarded the Lance Todd Trophy for the Player of the Match – after he touched down to give his side a 10-6 lead at the break.
Jai Field scored quickly after the restart to give Wigan a 12-10 lead, the first time they had been ahead in the contest, before Jermaine McGillvary’s try in the 58th minute put the Giants 14-10 in front.
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It looked like Huddersfield would be lifting the trophy aloft for the first time in 69 years as the game entered the remaining few minutes, but Wigan star Smith put through a sensational grubber kick from 30 metres out that Marshall ran onto and finished in the corner for what was the decisive score.
The Warriors managed to see out the dying moments and clinch a record-extending 20th Betfred Challenge Cup, which is also their first victory in this competition for nine years.
Speaking about the win, Wigan boss Matt Peet told BBC Sport: “I actually feel for Huddersfield, they were the better team for large parts today. They’re going to win things soon. They do things the right way and they’ve got a great owner.
“You could see the commitment on show from both teams. It was a moment at the end, and if I could have picked one player, it would have been Liam Marshall.”
Focus will now turn towards the Betfred Super League for both of these sides, with Wigan (5/1 – Grand Final Winner) sitting third in the standings and Huddersfield just one place and a point behind them.
The Giants (16/1 – Grand Final Winner) are back in action at Catalans Dragons on Friday, while the Warriors travel to Castleford Tigers the following day.
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