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Hull FC win thrilling Challenge Cup final

Press AssociationPress Association 27/08/2016 By Wayne Gardiner

Lee Radford reflected on his greatest achievement after masterminding home-town club Hull's Challenge Cup victory.

Radford's distinctive grin - he has a front tooth missing - was on full show as he spoke in the wake of his side's 12-10 comeback win over Warrington at Wembley.

He has reason to smile.

This was Hull's first victory in nine attempts at the national stadium, and a first trophy of Radford's coaching career, coming towards the end of his third season in charge.

The three campaigns have seen his positioned questioned as Hull rebuilt after the largesse of previous eras, but 37-year-old Radford - a childhood Hull KR fan who switched allegiance when FC gave him a playing contract - was able to reflect on mission accomplished.

"This is history making," he said. "So many teams prior to us, so many unbelievable players, have not achieved what we did today. I feel privileged and proud putting this group of players together.

All week Radford attempted to calm his players, with an eight-visit hoodoo hanging over them.

"He's been brilliant," said captain and former Wests Tigers NRL star Gareth Ells.

"It's not been plain sailing over his three years in charge."

After falling 10-0 down, tries from former Melbourne Storm player Mahe Fonua and Jamie Shaul turned it around for Hull.

Warrington and their coach Tony Smith were going for a fourth Cup win at the new Wembley and as the clock ticked over an hour, it looked as near as done.

However, come the reckoning, two missed Kurt Gidley kicks saw the trophy head to the Humber.

"It hurts, it was close and could have gone either way," Smith said. "It was a fantastic game to be a part of, a close game of inches and that's how it was today.

"This will go down as one of the better finals for many a year. We have wanted a close game and a spectacle at this stadium and we got one. We don't need to pull it apart."

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