Delighted coach Lee Radford saluted some “phenomenal efforts” after his Hull FC side beat Wigan 18-14 to retain the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.
Hull hit back from 6-0 down to lead 12-6 at half-time.
They went 12 points ahead early in the second half, but had to withstand a ferocious Wigan barrage in the final moments.
“I was worried throughout the game,” Radford admitted in his post-match press conference.
“I said I wanted an entertaining game - but not that entertaining!
“I wanted it in the bag a little bit earlier, but there were some phenomenal efforts.
“We went into our shell a bit with 10 minutes to go and played into their hands a bit.
“Wigan don’t go away and I never felt comfortable, but the scrambling defence was a great advertisement for the team.
“We had to scramble really hard together and that was the key.”
Radford paid tribute to Marc Sneyd, who won the Lance Todd Trophy - as man of the match - for a second successive year.
He said: “I am glad he is on our side. Look at the impact he has had on our club since he walked through the door - he has had to face a lot of criticism, but if he is not winning people over now I don’t think he ever will.”
Sneyd reckoned retaining the Challenge Cup was a better experience than winning it.
He said: “It feels a lot better, because of the manner we did it. We scrambled like mad at the end and it felt like a tougher game.”
Captain Gareth Ellis lifted the Cup in his final season before hanging up his boots.
“It was the nailbiter we expected, but the commitment we showed for each other, from minute one to minute 80 was outstanding,” Ellis said.
“We have found a way to perform in the big games this year. We have got a taste for it now and it bodes well, it means as a club we are moving forward.”