Today, in a pulsating 1895 Cup Final, Featherstone Rovers edged York in a classic encounter.
The game ended 41-34 in an absolute try-fest in the capital to get supporters ready for this afternoon’s main event: the Challenge Cup Final.
Featherstone are only the second ever winners of the trophy designed to give Championship clubs a fair crack at Wembley. In 2019, Sheffield became the inaugural winners with a 36-18 triumph over Widnes and two years later, after last year’s final was cancelled because of the pandemic, Featherstone have now become the second winners of the trophy.
Similarly, Craig Hall became only the second ever winner of the Ray French Award as Man of the Match. Interestingly, it was Hall’s Wembley debut. The ex-Hull FC and Hull KR star wasn’t at either club when they made it to the capital in recent seasons and missed out on selection when Hull FC made it to the 2008 final.
Thus, Hall arrived at Wembley with something to prove and certainly shone on the grand stage. He sealed the game with a decisive try to take the Rovers beyond the 40-point mark. That was just the icing on top the cake in terms of his performance which was certainly a very complete showing from the fullback who also chipped in with five goals.
His brilliance saw him claim the Ray French Award following in the footsteps of inaugural winner Anthony Thackery who claimed the trophy in 2019.
I wonder who’ll be up there collecting the award next year?