Challenge Cup: St Helens 25-22 Hull FC
|Ladbrokes Challenge Cup|
|St Helens (23) 25|
|Tries: Percival 2, Grace 2 Goals: Richardson 4 Drop goal: Richardson|
|Hull FC (12) 22|
|Tries: Kelly, Green, Taylor, Miloudi Goals: Connor 3|
St Helens knocked out Challenge Cup holders Hull FC in a feisty game to secure a place in the semi-finals.
Mark Percival and Regan Grace opened the scoring before Hull replied through Albert Kelly and Chris Green.
Hull had Danny Houghton and Danny Washbrook sin-binned within two minutes then Percival and Grace both crossed as Saints made their advantage count.
Scott Taylor scored for Hull after the break while Hakim Miloudi's late try set up a tense finale for the hosts.
Saints, the last side to win three successive Challenge Cups, back in 2008, ended Hull hopes of matching that feat, having won in 2016 and 2017.
The Super League leaders will now make their first semi-final appearance since their 2015 loss to eventual winners Leeds.
They play Catalans Dragons at Bolton Wanderers' Macron Stadium on 5 August, while Warrington and Leeds will meet in the other last-four fixture on the same day.
A game of three yellow cards
Hull took their time to get into the game and were two tries down when Bureta Faraimo mis-kicked behind from the restart after Percival's opening try, which led to Grace scoring the hosts' second.
There was controversy on the half-hour mark as Hull went down to 11 men from two separate incidents in quick succession.
First, Houghton was yellow-carded for a crusher tackle on Danny Richardson and moments later, Washbrook was sin-binned after appearing to put a knee to the face of Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook.
Almost midway through the second half, Hull were shown their third yellow card of the game when Masi Matongo went into the bin after taking out Jonny Lomax, and Saints held on for victory.
St Helens coach Justin Holbrook told BBC Sport:
"We were lucky to get away with that. I'm relieved to have won. We're still alive. That's the main thing.
"Hull put in an enormous performance. You can see how they've won it the last two years. They kept coming and coming at us.
"The period when they had two in the bin probably won it for us. It did unsettle us too but it unsettled them even more.
"It was important to get points in that period. We tried to put them away, but couldn't. Credit to Hull for that."
Hull coach Lee Radford told BBC Sport:
"It's irrelevant what I think about the decisions. If we get them, we get them, if we don't, we don't. I can't control or have any influence on that.
"There was one and possibly two penalties against us for our back chat. I can have an impact on that but I can't have influence on the ones I can't control. The other ones you have to kop them.
"The lads had nothing left at the end. They were running on fumes. As a coach sometimes all you can ask for is that effort and I got that.
"We outplayed them in many departments. I'm disappointed we got beat but unbelievably proud. We just kept going at them."
St Helens: Barba; Makinson, Morgan, Percival, Grace; Lomax, Richardson; Amor, Roby, Thompson, Peyroux, Taia, Wilkin.
Replacements: Fages, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Douglas, Knowles.
Hull FC: Shaul; Faraimo, Logan, Tuimavave, Miloudi; Kelly, Connor; Green, Houghton, Taylor, Minichiello, Manu, Hadley.
Replacements: Washbrook, Fash, Paea, Matongo.
Referee: Ben Thaler.