Saints' Grand Final dream is over after they went down 18-13 to Warrington at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Thursday.
Danny Richardson landed three drop goals in an eventual nine point haul to put his side ahead 13-12, but it wasn’t enough in a pulsating tie.
Tom Lineham’s double ultimately proving the difference.
Warrington led after ten minutes through a Tyrone Roberts penalty but Saints replied with one of their own five minutes later after Jonny Lomax went close.
The Wolves continued to pile on the pressure and twice Saints had to be keenest in defence.
Ryan Morgan was quickest to a grubber to stop a chance and then LMS cleaned up after a dropped ball.
Saints had chances of their own too as Tommy Makinson teared off down the field before James Roby’s chip gave them a repeat set.
Luke Thompson then went close with a barnstorming run.
At the other end of the pitch, Warrington almost turned a penalty on 35 minutes into points but couldn’t find a way past the defence.
They then fumbled the ball on the last and missed a drop goal attempt from under the posts.
It was a let off and Saints returned the ball with interest and Richardson made no mistake from in front with around two minutes left in the half.
It really was that sort of half…
Saints began the second stanza right on the front foot after Warrington let Danny Richardson’s restart go dead.
It handed the hosts a repeat set and Luke Douglas duly profited.
Richardson’s grubber on the last sat up nicely; the ball was then tipped back under the posts by the Wolves’ defence and Douglas was quickest to pounce on the loose ball.
But Warrington hit back immediately when good hands saw Jack Hughes go through a gap and score in the corner.
Richardson extended Saints’ advantage to five points with a penalty on 50 minutes – and then his side had back to back sets right on the Wolves’ line.
But Saints couldn’t convert and Warrington went up the other end, built pressure, won a drop out and then scored in the corner through Lineham.
Roberts nailing the conversion from the touchline to give his side a one-point lead.
Richardson missed a penalty shot from the right hand touchline to put Saints ahead but made no mistake with another drop goal under the posts on the next set.
He then put his side ahead with a low effort that skimmed the crossbar on the way through.
Saints were on top but there was to be a sting in the tail.
With six minutes to go Lineham took a Kevin Brown pass on the left hand side and slid over in the corner.
Saints fought to get back into it but they couldn’t execute their plays despite two forays into the Warrington half as the clock ticked down.
And the final play saw Percival’s chip take a deflection and end up in touch.
A sad end to a breathtaking season.
Goals: Richardson (3 from 4)
Drop: Richardson (3)
Tries: Hughes, Lineham (2)
Goals: Roberts (3 from 4)
REF: Robert Hicks
23. Ben Barba; 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 19. Regan Grace; 1. Jonny Lomax, 18. Danny Richardson; 20. Matty Lees, 9. James Roby, 16. Luke Thompson, 11. Zeb Taia, 17. Dom Peyroux, 12. Jon Wilkin.
Subs: 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Luke Douglas, 15. Morgan Knowles, 21. Jack Ashworth.
1. Stefan Ratchford; 2. Tom Lineham, 3. Bryson Goodwin, 18. Toby King, 27. Josh Charnley; 6. Kevin Brown, 7. Tyrone Roberts; 8. Chris Hill, 9. Daryl Clark, 10. Mike Cooper, 30. Bodene Thompson, 12. Jack Hughes, 34. Ben Westwood.
Subs: 13. Ben Murdoch-Masaila, 15. Declan Patton, 17. Joe Philbin, 19. George King.