Saints U19s lost out in the derby following a 36-20 defeat at the hands of rivals Wigan Warriors at Robin Park Arena on Saturday.
Four unanswered tries from James McDonnell and a hat-trick from Cian Tyrer allowed the hosts to open an 18 point lead before Saints responded on the half hour mark with a Jack Welsby special.
John Hutchings had diffused a high bomb deep in this own 10 metres area then won a penalty allowing the Saints to clear their lines against a stiff breeze.
Drives from Josh Simm and Tom Nisbett took the Saints into enemy territory on the last. From the play the ball Welsby dummied then went blind setting Simm free down the right edge. He played the ball back to Welsby on the inside who finished a move he started 40 metres earlier.
The Saints had shown their ability to stay in the contest, but Wigan grabbed a decisive try on the hooter. A full set was conjured up out of nowhere and on the last Amir Bourouh went in from close range to open up a four score gap.
Playing into the teeth of a strong breeze that had changed ends with the teams at the break, Saints crucially were the first to score.
A neat grubber from Lewis Dodd gave the Saints a repeat set and put their hosts under pressure. Again it was Welsby showing his class stepping back off his left foot, but was stopped close to the line. From the play the ball a fabulous miss pass from Paul Nash found captain Sam Royle to go in untouched under the posts.
This galvanised the Saints and a big defensive effort on 53 minutes from Hutchings and Nico Rizzelli forced the winger into touch gaining the Saints possession.
But on the hour mark the Saints conceded a scrum on our own 30 metre line and from it Aiden Roden went over from dummy half.
The game went into its final 10 minutes and the Saints came to life scoring twice in a five minute period.
The first came after a delightful bit of inter passing on the fourth tackle down the right from Nisbett and Simm. From the play the ball Nash ran it giving it to Ryan Horne whose overhead pass was taken by Nisbett who stepped inside the cover to score. The tricky conversion against the wind was missed, but the Saints had belief.
Five minutes later the Saints were in again. A penalty, for a late tackle on Dodd again saw Nash catch the defence out by going blind down the right. He again found Horne who put Simm away and the speedy centre stepped back inside to go under the sticks.
Unfortunately it wasn’t enough as the hosts sealed victory in the third minute of second half injury time through Roden again.
Wigan U19’s Team: Umyla Hanley; Ben Holcroft, Corey Hall, Jake Sculthorpe, Cian Tyrer; Harry Smith, Ryan Forshaw; Ethan Havard, Aiden Roden, Oscar Stone, James McDonnell, Harry Rushton, Joe Shorrocks (C).
Interchanges: Jack Bibby, Brad O’Neill, Nathan Wilde, Amir Bourouh.
Tries: James McDonnell (8), Cian Tyrer (15, 21 & 23), Amir Bourouh (40), Aiden Roden (63 & 79).
Goals: Harry Smith 3 from 7.
Saints U19’s Team: Jack Welsby; Tom Nisbett, Josh Simm, Nico Rizzelli, John Hutchings; Ryan Horne, Lewis Dodd; Harry Brooks, Jake Wingfield, Kye Siyani, Matty Foster, Sam Royle (C), Joe Sharratt.
Interchanges: Paul Nash, Warren Smith, Jamie Pye, Lewis Baxter.
Tries: Jack Welsby (29), Sam Royle (46), Tom Nisbett (69), Josh Simm (74).
Goals: Lewis Dodd 2 from 4.