After a stunning Challenge Cup final the attention turned to the final of the inaugural 1895 Cup between the Sheffield Eagles and Widnes Vikings as both sides chased a piece of silverware to cap what will ultimately be a 2019 of league alsorans.

Widnes sprang a surprise and beat the Leigh Centurions in the semi-final to get to the showpiece final, the location where they made four Challenge Cup finals, and win two, in the eighties and nineties. The Eagles triumphed over the Batley Bulldogs to take their place at Wembley, the site of their finest hour when they lifted the Challenge Cup back in 1998.

Widnes were slight favourites for the win but both sides had a win apiece in the two games played in the league in 2019.

End to end opening exchanges signalled that this would be an open game with both sides looking to play expansive attacking football.

On four minutes there was a long delay in play as Widnes player Jordan Johnstone was stretchered from the field after a heavy tackle.

A determined effort from Patrick Ah Van was instrumental in the opening try as his pass found Harrison Hansen to go over from three metres out and score after thirteen minutes. Jack Owen kicked the simple conversion from by the uprights for a 6-0 lead.

Two minutes later Ted Chapelhow broke down the centre of the field and drew the full-back before a pass infield to Chris Dean to scamper over the line from twenty metres. Owens again added the conversion as the traffic turned one-way.

Sheffield desperately needed the next points and they got them on twenty-one when Adam Brown burrowed under the defenders and over the line from acting half-back to score by the left upright. Patch Walker added the extras to get his side back within six.

On twenty-five Anthony Thackeray stole the ball in a one-on-one tackle and went sixty metres to score under the sticks. Walker again added the conversion and the sides were tied up at 12-12.

After getting over their initial nerves it was the Eagles who were starting to boss the game but on thirty-four Widnes scored their third through Tom Gilmore on thirty-five, somewhat against the run of play. Owens was again accurate with the boot for an 18-12 lead which Widnes carried into the break.

Just a minute after the restart a spiralling Walker kick was chased and collected by Joel Farrell to score, outpacing the Widnes defence. Walker was unable to add the conversion from wide, the Eagles two points adrift.

On forty-eight Brown got his second after Sheffield kept the ball alive with Guzdek the provider with a superb pass to send the full back over. Walker added the conversion to give Sheffield the lead.

After missing a penalty kick the Eagles took full advantage with Thackeray breaking the Vikings line and this time being the provider for Corey Makelim to cross under the sticks. Walker added the conversion which saw the Eagles 28-18 ahead.

Two tired sides started to make errors  but neither side were punished until the seventy-sixth minute when the Eagles picked up a spilled ball and Brown went under the sticks to score his hat-trick try. Walker added the extras for 34-18 and when Walker added a penalty goal in the dying seconds the final score was 36-18.

It was the Eagles who left Wembley with a trophy and a smile on their faces, twenty-one years after their last big trophy victory. It was a terrifically open game between two free flowing sides who showed plenty of effort and enterprise. The Eagles, and Mark Aston, have the 1895 Cup in their trophy cabinet and will be delighted in the outcome of this new competition.

Eagles: Guzdek, Millar, Hellewell, Brown (3T), Blackmore, Walker (6G), Thackeray (T), Pick, Burns G, Knowles, Davies, Farrell (T), Makelim (T). Subs: Davey, Broadbent, Mason, Burns P.

Vikings: Owens (3G), Ah Van, Brand, Gelling, Hatton, Craven, Gilmore (T), Chapelhow T, Johnstone, Cahill, Hansen (T), Dean (T), Walker.  Subs: Chapelhow J, Leuluai, Norman, Wilde.

Referee: Chris Kendall.

Half-Time: 12-18.

Full-Time: 36-18.

Attendance: .

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