Warriors Pip Reds

The Warriors clinched a last minute victory over Salford on Wednesday night in their second pre-season run out at the Willows which also doubled as Malcolm Alker’s Testimonial Game.

The game ended in a 20-15 win for the Warriors as Phil Bailey touched down a Chris Ashton kick in the last minute to take the spoils, although a greasy surface made for difficult handling conditions and both sides were guilty of handling errors in a typical pre-season affair.

It was Wigan who started the brightest asking the early questions and on 11 minutes it was Brian Noble’s men in their new all black away strip that took the lead. Bryan Fletcher with the drive and Mark Calderwood squeezing in for the try in the right hand corner. Pat Richards stuck a superb conversion to make it 0-6.

Salford struck back on 17 minutes with their first try. A Robinson grubber kick saw David Hodgson quickly react to touchdown for the four points. The Scrum Half hit the extras to square the game at 6-6.

Both sides made substitutions as the coaches switched things around. It was 34 minutes before there were further points and it was Wigan with their second try. The creator Michael Withers with a great break, a quick play the ball, the Reds were stretched and Harrison Hansen was able to ground out wide. This time the goal was missed, 6-10.

Salford crossed for their second try on the stroke of half time. It was a real scrappy try as David Gower touched down from another kick. Robinson’s attempt was wide 10-10 at the interval.

Just four minutes into the second half and it was Salford in the lead for the first time. David Hodgson with his second try who dummied his way through a gap to score. This time John Wilshere’s conversion was well adrift. 14-10.

The game was level again on 52 minutes, Danny Hill with the try and credit to Paleaaesina who made a great offload in heavy traffic. A difficult goal from wide left was missed by Richards. 14-14.

An ugly altercation on 63 minutes saw Paleaaesina and Highton sent to the sin bin for ten minutes as tempers boiled.

Both sides prompted for further points and it was Salford with a Hodgson drop goal with less than three minutes left that made it 15-14. But as the clock ticked down the Warriors forced a knock on from Salford and from the resulting scrum Chris Ashton kicked long for Phil Bailey to win the race to the ball and score to the left of the posts and send the huge Warriors traveling army of fans wild.

Wigan Warriors: Chris Ashton, Mark Calderwood, Phil Bailey, David Vaealiki, Pat Richards, Michael Withers, Thomas Leuluai, Stuart Fielden, Mickey Higham, Iafeta Paleaaesina, Gareth Hock, Bryan Fletcher, Sean O Loughlin
Subs: Eamon O’Carroll, Harrison Hansen, Shane Millard, Paul Prescott, Danny Hill, Darrell Goulding, Mark Flanagan, Joel Tomkins

Crowd: 2902
Referee: Mr A Klein (London)

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