SAINTS bowed out of the playoffs at the semi-final stage following a controversial 18-10 loss at Warrington.
Dominique Peyroux was denied a crucial try near the end of the match whilst Tom Lineham’s effort avoided the scrutiny of the video referee when it looked like the winger lost control in the act of scoring.
It was a bitter pill to swallow after Saints fought back to edge the league leaders at half time in a rip roaring contest.
Warrington shaded the early stages but found Saints’ defence in no mood to give up points.
Declan Patton slotted a penalty over from in front of the posts early doors but Luke Walsh cancelled it out.
But then two baffling calls put Warrington on Saints try-line.
Mark Percival forced a knock on from Stefan Ratchford – but was penalised after the referee went to the screen – and then Alex Walmsley was adjudged to have knocked the ball on from his own ferocious tackle.
They were both harsh calls and moments later it got worse as Kurt Gidley went through a gap to put the home side ahead.
Saints picked themselves up and could have scored when Adam Swift went down the left hand side and Percival picked it up.
But seconds later Jordan Turner broke inside his own half, set Swift away and he duly turned it inside to Lomax who sent the away fans bonkers.
Walsh added the extras and then stroked home a penalty right on the hooter following a high tackle.
Saints began the second half on the front foot, forcing Warrington to come away from their own line.
But a penalty on 50 minutes gave the Wolves the chance to wrestle back the advantage – and they did just that.
A wonder tackle stopped Clark going over but following the inevitable penalty that so often happens when a play the ball is on the try line, Ratchford darted over from dummy half following some big drives.
15 minutes later, Tom Lineham increased the lead after he polished off a sweeping move to the right – the referee opting not to go to the video screen which subsequently showed more than a hint of a knock on.
Saints piled on the pressure with 10 minutes left, gaining back to back sets, but couldn’t break through, whilst the Wolves simply played out their sets to force their opposition to do it the hard way.
Dominique Peyroux went close in the final stages as did Percival until the former was denied a certain try with two minutes remaining by the video official.
The centre looked to have the ball down, with two Wolves players on top of him, but it was bizzarely chalked off for being ‘held up’.
Saints were therefore denied a barnstorming ending and were left to rue what could have been for the second year in a row.
Tries: Gidley, Ratchford, Lineham
Goals: Patton (3 from 4)
Goals: Walsh (3 from 3)
REF: Ben Thaler
6. Stefan Ratchford; 2. Tom Lineham, 3. Rhys Evans, 4. Ryan Atkins, 5. Matty Russell; 1. Kurt Gidley, 26. Declan Patton; 8. Chris Hill, 9. Daryl Clark, 10. Ashton Sims, 12. Jack Hughes, 27. Sam Wilde, 14. Joe Westerman.
Subs: 18. George King, 24. Toby King, 25. Joe Philbin, 31. Morgan Smith.
1. Jonny Lomax; 22. Jack Owens, 18. Dominique Peyroux, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Adam Swift; 3. Jordan Turner, 7. Luke Walsh; 10. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 15. Greg Richards, 20. Joe Greenwood, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 12. Jon Wilkin.
Subs: 8. Alex Walmsley, 11. Atelea Vea, 17. Luke Thompson, 28. Morgan Knowles.