Leeds Rhinos won their first Challenge Cup in five years after Luke Gale’s late drop-goal secured a 17-16 win over Salford Red Devils on Saturday. 

Tries from Tom Briscoe and Ash Handley, both converted by Rhyse Martin, helped Leeds to a 12-6 half-time lead, with Rhys Williams’ score giving Salford hope ahead of the second period. 

They built on that after the break as Pauli Pauli and James Greenwood crossed to put them ahead before the hour mark. 

Handley’s second try pulled Leeds level before Gale slotted over the winning one-pointer with just four minutes remaining. 

Leeds head coach Richard Agar told the BBC: “Luke’s come up with a massive play for us. I’m so proud of everything that they’ve cultivated and nurtured in the group. We weren’t perfect but we showed resilience when we had to.”

Salford head coach Ian Watson said: “There were small margins. The boys didn’t lack effort; they were just not smart enough. Luke Gale took his opportunity when it came. It’s disappointing with the history surrounding the Challenge Cup, because winning it is a special thing.”