Ahead of this weekend’s Betfred Challenge Cup clash against Featherstone Rovers in the Betfred Challenge Cup, Club Historian Bill Dalton looks back at the history between the two sides in the competition.
Although Featherstone Rovers weren’t promoted to the senior ranks of the Northern Union until 1921, Hull had encountered them as a junior club in the 2nd round of the Challenge Cup competition in the 1913-14 season – on their way to winning the cup.
Surprisingly, the two sides never met in the cup for another 45 years – in the semi-final at Odsal Stadium, Bradford in April 1959. Again, Hull advanced to the final – their very first Wembley appearance – although had to be satisfied with runners-up status.
The third meeting took place a couple of years later, this time at the Boulevard, when a quarter-final (3rd round) tie brought a narrow 10-9 success amid great controversy when Featherstone claimed that Terry Hollindrake had run into touch on his way to notching the winning try. The referee never agreed!
Featherstone were a great cup-fighting side during that period and reached several semi-finals without managing the final step to Wembley. The 1966-67 season finally saw them achieve that ambition and won the cup, overcoming Barrow 17-12.
Hull and Featherstone crossed swords again in 1971 when they drew a second-round tie at Post Office Road 7-7. Future Hull half-back John Newlove completely missed a late chance to win the game for the Colliers, giving Hull the opportunity to advance to the third round in the replay at rhe Boulevard by 12-8.
Twelve years later, Hull suffered their only Challenge Cup defeat to Featherstone when, despite being red-hot favourites to win the 1983 Final and thus ‘break their duck’ at Wembley, they succumbed by 12-14.
Another 35 years elapsed before Hull again visited Post Office Road in the competition – this time as back-to-back holders of the trophy in a 6th round tie.
Once again, the result went Hull’s way by the comfortable margin 38-20, but the game will be best remembered for a degree of brutality exercised by the home side and the injuries sustained by FC’s squad, which went some way to seeing an end to Hull’s long triumphal Challenge Cup run at St Helens in the next round.
14th March 1914 (2nd Round) – Featherstone Rovers 3-27 Hull
11th April 1959 (Semi-Final) – Featherstone Rovers 5-15 Hull
11th March 1961 (3rd Round) – Hull 10-9 Featherstone Rovers
21st Feb 1971 (2nd Round) – Featherstone Rovers 7-7 Hull
24th Feb 1971 ( “ Replay) – Hull 12-8 Featherstone Rovers
7th May 1983 (Final) – Featherstone Rovers 14-12 Hull
10th May 2018 (6th Round) Featherstone Rovers 20-38 Hull