On this day 1924: Wigan lift a first Challenge Cup

On this day 100-years ago, Wigan Rugby League Club lifted a first challenge cup trophy after defeating oldham in the final.

After two losses in the Northern Union Cup Final against Broughton Rangers and Huddersfield, Wigan were determined to get their name on the Rugby League Challenge Cup, but close rivals Oldham stood in their way.

A crowd of more than 40,000 crammed into the Athletic Grounds, Rochdale, as other supporters climbed onto the roofs of both stands for a better view of the action. Spectators overspilled on to the pitch before the start of the final as referee Rev Frank Chambers, along with the players, helped get supporters behind the touchlines so the game could start.

The first opportunity of the contest fell Wigan’s way but Jim Sullivan’s shot at goal from inside his own half fell short. Oldham were then awarded a penalty which full-back Ernie Knapman made no mistake from to put his side ahead.

Wigan hit back to take the lead when second row forward Fred Roffey – signed from Ebbw Vale in 1918 – finished off a four man move. Spurred on by the score, the Warriors extended their lead when South African winger Attie Van Heerden crossed for a brilliant try which included a run around a mounted policeman to touch down under the posts.

Oldham reduced the arrears before the break when Albert Brough kicked a penalty after the Warriors were penalised for an offside.

The Warriors crossed for a third try seven minutes after the break when Danny Hurcombe created a brilliant opening to send Tommy Parker away to score before forward Jack Price added a fourth try midway through the second half.

Sullivan landed a long range penalty with 15 minutes remaining before Johnny Ring scored Wigan’s final try with a neat interception. The extras were added to round off a memorable moment in the Club’s history.

Full time: Wigan Warriors 21-4 Oldham.

Wigan Warriors: Jim Sullivan, Johnny Ring, Tommy Howley, Tommy Parker, Attie Van Heerden, Sid Jerram, Danny Hurcombe, Albert Webster, Harry Banks, George Van Rooyen, Fred Brown, Fred Roffey, Jack Price.

Oldham: Ernie Knapman, Sid Rix, Billy Hall, Alan Woodward, Joe Corsi, George Hesketh, Alf Bates, Jack Collins, Ambrose Baker, Alf Tomkins, Bob Sloman, Albert Brough, Herman Hilton.

Friday 12 April 2024