U19s season comes to premature end
St Helens u19s 40 - Warrington Wolves u19s 16
By Dave Whalley
Warrington Wolves Under 19s season came to a premature end on Saturday afternoon when they suffered a defeat at the hands of St Helens in the Academy Under 19s Elimination Semi Final at Langtree Park.
Things looked promising for the Wolves early on but they were unable to fully press home their early advantage and the home side capitalised fully as a fine performance saw them run out comfortable winners and earn themselves a trip to Leeds Rhinos next Friday in the Final Eliminator.
The Wolves opened the scoring in the fifth minute when a chip into the Saints in-goal area on the last tackle from scrum half Declan Patton bounced off full back Daniel Abram's leg and loose forward Ben Currie reacted quickest to touchdown at the side of the posts. Winger Scott Turner converted but Saints hit back eleven minutes later when back-to-back penalties put them close to the Wolves line and scrum half Dave Hewitt stepped round the cover to score at the left of the posts.
Just before the half hour mark Saints took the lead for the first time when a long ball from Hewitt sent centre Jack Ashworth racing clear down the left and he found winger Ben Parry in support to go over. Stand off Lewis Charnock converted but the Wolves soon responded when a lovely switch pass back inside from Patton found second row Joe Philbin running a fine line and he managed to twist in the tackle and score under the posts. Turner added the conversion.
A minute before the break the Wolves conceded two quick penalties once again and it proved very costly as prop forward Greg Richards brushed off a couple of defenders to score at the side of the posts. Charnock converted to give the Saints a 16-12 half time advantage.
Two minutes into the second half Saints decided to run the ball on the last tackle and it reached centre Greg Wilde who put loose forward Conor Dwyer over in the right corner. Then ten minutes later Charnock chipped over the Wolves defence and winger Lewis Galbraith collected and put second row Alex Clare over in the right corner.
The Wolves gave themselves a glimmer of hope on the hour when quick hands down the right saw the ball reach centre Will Milner who put Turner over wide out on the right but that was soon extinguished when Hewitt stepped back inside to score at the side of the posts. Charnock goaled to make the score 30-16.
St Helens pressed home their advantage late on when Charnock chipped over the Wolves defence on the last tackle and collected himself to score under the posts. Hewitt landed the conversion and then in the final minute the ball was sent out wide to Parry who crossed on the left. Charnock tagged on the extras to make the final score 40-16 to a delighted St Helens side.
After the game Wolves Under 19s head coach Danny Fullerton said: "It was obviously not the way we wanted the season to end but on the whole I cannot be more proud of the entire squad for what they have achieved this year. We weren't at our best but you have to credit St Helens on their performance and accept that they deserved the win. We have had a brilliant season; to finish fourth with such a young side was a great effort and I am certain that we will come back even stronger next year. To win twelve of our final thirteen regular league games proved how far we had come as a team, it is just a shame that we couldn't get over this hurdle. It has been a learning curve for all involved and we are already planning for next season. I would like to thank all of the players for their conduct on and off the pitch; they have been a credit to themselves and the club and have really shown what top quality people they have become and the true values that have been instilled in them will benefit them going forward. I would also like to pay tribute to my fellow coaches, management, conditioners and medical staff because it really has been a fantastic all-round team effort."
Daniel Abram, Lewis Galbraith, Greg Wilde, Jack Ashworth, Ben Parry, Lewis Charnock, Dave Hewitt, Greg Richards, Dominic Speakman, Tom Calland, Olly Davies, Alex Clare, Connor Dwyer.
Subs: Tom Roughley, Adam Hesketh, Ross McAuley, Joe Ryan.
Tries: Hewitt (16 mins, 68), Parry (29, 80), Richards (39), Dwyer (42), Clare (52), Charnock (71).
Goals: Charnock 3 from 7; Hewitt 1 from 1
James Saltonstall, Scott Turner, Will Milner, Toby King, Jack Johnson, Louis Jouffret, Declan Patton, Gavin Bennion, Andy Ackers, Tom Walker, Jacque Peet, Joe Philbin, Ben Currie.
Subs: Ryan Maneely, Daniel Murray, Robert Holroyd, Micky Learmonth.
Tries: Currie (5 mins), Philbin (35), Turner (60).
Goals: Turner 2 from 3
16, Sep, 2013