Search is on for greatest Challenge Cup giant-killing act
The RFL is asking Halifax RLFC fans to nominate their greatest Challenge Cup giant-killing act of all time in a special poll to mark the 113th anniversary of Rugby League’s oldest and most prestigious knockout competition.
As teams from the community game, Student RL, Armed Forces, Co-operative Championships and Engage Super League prepare for their date with destiny in the third and fourth rounds of the 2010 Carnegie Challenge Cup, the RFL is urging supporters to help produce a definitive list of the biggest shocks in the tournament’s history.
Ever since the amateurs of Eastmoor held the highly fancied Stockport to a 3-3 draw in the competition’s inaugural year of 1897, Challenge Cup folklore has been littered with tales of heroic deeds by clubs and players who were inspired by the magic of the Cup.
There have been some amazing surprises down the years, at both small, compact grounds and at Wembley, which has played host to many finals that didn’t quite go according to plan or the formbook.
Perhaps the most famous giant-killing act in a final came in 1998, when the mighty Wigan side that had dominated Rugby League for a decade were stunned by a magnificent performance by unfancied Sheffield Eagles.
The 1983 final also saw odds-on favourites fail to follow up their pre-match billing with Hull FC falling to Featherstone Rovers in a match which is still the toast the of the West Yorkshire town.
But some of the most memorable surprises have been sprung a long way from Wembley Way, such as West Hull’s win against the professionals of York at the Boulevard in 1996, the high-flying Sheffield Eagles’ own fall from grace at the hands of Thornhill Trojans in 2000 and, only last year, Wath Brow Hornets’ 14-12 success against London Skolars.
“The magic of the Carnegie Challenge Cup has always caught the sport in its spell and I’m sure there are a lot of Co-operative Championship and Championship One clubs who will be wary of its effects in next week’s third round ties,” said the RFL’s Media Manager, John Ledger.
“Most fans will have special memories of their own club’s Challenge Cup highlight and we’d love to learn what they are. It would be great to know what the biggest Challenge Cup giant-killing act of all time is.”
Fans are asked to send an e-mail with the subject ‘Greatest Challenge Cup Giant-Killing Act’ to email@example.com stating the match, what year it was played and a 50-100 word explanation detailing why the tie was so special to them.
Everyone who submits their entry before the closing date of Friday April 9 will be entered into a draw to win a pair of tickets for the 2010 Carnegie Challenge Cup Final at Wembley on Saturday August 28.
Tickets for the 2010 Carnegie Challenge Cup Final are currently on sale, priced from just £21. Until Friday March 26, the RFL is offering complimentary upgrades on all ticket bands, with the exception of £76 tickets, for the Wembley showdown. For example, anyone purchasing a £31 ticket will automatically be upgraded to a £41 ticket.
To book your Wembley seat at the historic 2010 Carnegie Challenge Cup Final contact the RFL ticket office on 0844 856 11 13 or visit www.carnegiechallengecup.co.uk