29th July 2019, 14:52 | 1895_cup
Widnes Vikings sealed their place at Wembley Stadium to face Sheffield Eagles in the inaugural AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final on Saturday 24thAugust with an 8-12 victory over Leigh Centurions on Sunday.
This means the former ‘Cup Kings’ will return to Wembley for the first time since 1984 as they look to lift silverware after a difficult year on and off the field.
Head Coach Kieron Purtill believes it is the perfect reward for the fans who dug deep to help the club through their financial struggles earlier this season.
Purtill said: “All of those fans who were behind the sticks supporting us they’re ultimately the ones who saved the club alongside the Directors and what a thank you to all of them this is.
“We turned up as a group, we worked hard for each other for the full 80 minutes and we’ve got our reward and the reward of going to Wembley is a thank you to all of our fans.
“It was a fantastic game and a brilliant advert for Championship Rugby League. It had a bit of everything in it some fantastic tries, great defence and a few scuffles in there and right at the end the game was still in the balance.
“But we are going to Wembley and everyone involved with the club is buzzing and excited at the opportunity.”
It was a nervy game with the sides going into half-time at 2-2 before another Ryan Brierley penalty goal edged Leigh in front. However, a moment of brilliance from Danny Craven – who threw a sublime dummy to break the Leigh line – got Widnes on the front foot.
Craven said: “The feeling is unreal.
“We can’t hide away from the fact we’ve had a tough year with not being paid at certain times, but we’ve got a fantastic group of lads and that performance typified what we’re about this season.
“There were large periods where we were under the pump, but we stuck in there and we came away with the win.”
Centre Anthony Gelling was the man who crossed for the first try of the game following a remarkable passage of attacking play from the Vikings and he made it clear who the victory was for.
“You can see with the celebrations from the fans after the game what it means. These people have supported us through everything going downhill and this victory shows our support back to them.
“To get something out of this year – we are a special team and it makes it all worthwhile now.”
Tickets are available for the 2019 Coral Challenge Cup Final between St Helens and Warrington Wolves and inaugural AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final between Sheffield Eagles and Widnes Vikings HERE.