Challenge Cup semi-final: Warrington Wolves 22-14 Hull FC
|Coral Challenge Cup semi-final|
|Warrington Wolves (10) 22|
|Tries: Goodwin, Currie, King, Philbin Goals: Ratchford 3|
|Hull FC (8) 14|
|Try: Faraimo, Taylor Goals: Sneyd 3|
Warrington set up a third Challenge Cup final appearance in four seasons as they defeated Hull FC 22-14 at a rain-drenched University of Bolton Stadium.
Tries from Bryson Goodwin and Ben Currie saw Wolves edge a tense first half, but Marc Sneyd's boot and Bureta Faraimo's try kept Hull in touch.
Toby King extended Warrington's lead only for Scott Taylor's reply for Hull to ensure a tense finale.
But Joe Philbin went over to secure a Wembley final against St Helens.
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With both sides vying for the tag of 'best of the rest' in a Super League season which has seen St Helens dominate much of the campaign, the tie did not disappoint.
Goodwin went over in the corner to put the Wire in front, but Hull's response was impressive and they were only denied a half-time lead when Warrington punished a Jake Connor error and Currie scored just before the break for a 10-8 advantage.
King's effort appeared to put Steve Price's side in charge but Hull thought they had hit back immediately when Faraimo again crossed in the corner only for video referee Ben Thaler to disallow the try for an obstruction in the build-up.
Taylor's 66th-minute try pulled Hull back to within two points of Warrington as Lee Radford's side pushed to reach another Wembley final.
But Philbin seized on Joe Westerman dropping Albert Kelly's pass to kick the ball over the line and dive on it to seal victory for the Wire.
The Wire reach Wembley once more
Warrington's victory means they reach the Challenge Cup final for the second season in a row and have set up a third Wembley visit in four seasons.
Should the Wire win in next month's showpiece final, it would be their first Challenge Cup win since 2012 and the ninth in their history.
For Price's side, the final will be a chance to make up for last season's Wembley defeat by French side Catalans Dragons and collect the first silverware of 2019.
The Wire are currently 10 points behind Saints in Super League and had lost their past two league matches coming into the semi-final, but their form in the Challenge Cup has seen them overcome Wigan and Hull's city rivals Hull Kingston Rovers before seeing off the Black and Whites.
For Hull, they miss out on the chance to make a third final appearance in four seasons themselves, after their two successive Challenge Cup wins in 2016 and 2017.
'We want to be brides not the bridesmaid' - post-match reaction
Warrington head coach Steve Price: "It feels like we've been invited to a wedding, again, and we want to be brides not the bridesmaid.
"I always knew what we had and that showed what we are, we showed our fighting spirit. Our foundation has been that for 18 months and we showed it in spades.
"It was a brutal game, but we stayed up and never shied away from the opposition.
"Credit to Hull, it was see-saw, but they had a crack and I thought we showed a lot of pump today."
Hull FC coach Lee Radford: "I'm very disappointed. They made the most of their kicking, far superior to how we did. Sometimes that's the difference between going to a final and not.
"I said all along there was nothing between the sides, they both went all out. But clutch plays are huge and the error on play two with three to go... if you don't make that you don't go to a final.
"The effort was outstanding, the performance was really good, but they were really good too."
Warrington: Ratchford; Lineham, Goodwin, King, Mamo; Austin, Patton; Hill, D Clark, Cooper, Currie, Hughes, J Clark.
Interchanges: Philbin, Murdoch-Masila, Davis, Tasi.
Hull FC: Shaul; Faraimo, Griffin, Tuimavave, Naulago; Kelly, Sneyd; Taylor, Houghton, Paea, Lane, Minichiello, Westerman.
Interchanges: Ellis, Bowden, Fash, Connor.
Referee: Robert Hicks