Wigan claim Challenge Cup glory
Wigan Warriors splattered their way to a record-extending 19th triumph with a 16-0 victory over Hull FC in an error-strewn Tetley's Challenge Cup final at soggy Wembley.
Centre Iain Thornley and full-back Sam Tomkins scored the only tries of a disappointing final, which failed to live up to the classic of 1985 between these two teams and leaves Hull still looking for a first win at Wembley.
Persistent rain, which doused the pitch from early morning, contributed to the lowest-scoring final for 33 years but Hull fans among the 78,137 crowd must have been distraught over their team's inept handling.
The Black and Whites literally took their eye off the ball on their way to becoming the first team to be nilled in a final since Wigan beat St Helens 27-0 in 1989 during their record eight-match run of Wembley triumphs.
The Warriors fans celebrated with glee as Sean O'Loughlin received the trophy from Olympic gold medallist Luke Campbell.
O'Loughlin, back from a two-match injury absence, led from the front in his trademark fashion but the Lance Todd Trophy as man of the match went to scrum-half Matty Smith, whose kicking in the difficult conditions proved crucial.
Little went right all day for Hull, who lost skipper Gareth Ellis, their vastly-experienced England forward, with a rib injury after only 14 minutes, although he was declared fit to return 37 minutes later when Jay Pitts went off with an arm problem.
Full-back Jamie Shaul, who got the chance to make only his sixth senior appearance on the biggest of stages, justified his call-up with an accomplished display but Hull coach Peter Gentle's decision to bring back centre Ben Crooks backfired badly.
Gentle had insisted there was no risk in playing his 20-try centre, who has been out for a month with an ankle injury, but his timing looked awry as he produced three handling errors in the first half alone.
His first blunder would have cost his side a try had winger Jason Crookes not been able to get his body under the ball to prevent Pat Richards touching down.
It set the scene for Wigan to lay siege to their opponents' line with four consecutive sets but Hull's defence held firm against all the odds.
The Warriors' superior handling betrayed the conditions and they enjoyed a 60-40 share of possession in the first half yet led only 6-0 courtesy of Thornley's 21st-minute try.
Thornley maintained his composure to pick up an awkward pass by his bootlaces and eluded the attempted tackle of former Wigan second rower Danny Tickle to touch down out wide, although not too far out for Pat Richards to add the conversion, the first of four successful kicks.
Wigan ought to have made more of a clean break by hooker Michael McIlorum but Hull's tenacity kept them in the contest.
Smith was narrowly wide with a drop-goal attempt on the stroke of half-time but the Warriors extended their lead two minutes into the second half when Richards put over a penalty for a late tackle by Richard Whiting.
Hull's best chance came on 49 minutes when Shaul broke out of defence and sprinted 70 metres but lost the ball in England winger Josh Charnley's tackle. With that went their chances of springing an upset.
Wigan were forced into a reshuffle when centre Darrell Goulding was knocked out in an attempted tackle on Kirk Yeaman that went badly wrong but the Warriors stretched their lead with a second penalty from Richards, this time for an ugly spear tackle by Aaron Heremaia on O'Loughlin.
Hull produced a spirited late rally but Wigan deservedly had the final say when Tomkins waltzed past a number of defenders to touch down in the last minute for his 11th try of the competition following Blake Green's high kick.