Luke Gale drop goal secures Leeds Challenge Cup glory

Leeds Rhinos won their first trophy in three years as Luke Gale’s late drop-goal gave them a 17-16 win over Salford.

Gale landed the one-pointer minutes from time to win the contest after a titanic tussle with the Red Devils.

Leeds had dominated early proceedings. Their forwards dominated down the middle and the kicking game of Gale suffocated Salford of territory.

In the end, they were rewarded when Tom Briscoe, who famously scored five tries on this field back in 2015, grounded after a delicate offload from Tongan battering ram Konrad Hurrell.

But Salford, who have developed a knack of sticking in games and countering unexpectedly, did just that again. Former Leeds captain Kallum Watkins claimed a high kick and had the awareness to offload to Niall Evalds, who sent Rhys Williams charging down the field for a breakaway try.

Leeds would take a 12-6 lead into half-time though as Ash Handley scored after Leeds created an overlap.

The second-half starter in similar vain, with Leeds getting on top early, but they couldn’t turn it into points.

When Salford had the chance, they struck. Pauli Pauli powered over and James Greenwood shockingly put them ahead after Richie Myler dropped a high kick.

But Leeds weren’t done. Myler made amends as he put Handley away for his second, though Martin’s missed conversion meant the game was all square.

That gave Luke Gale, wearing the famous number seven jersey donned by Rob Burrow, to win the game with a late field goal.