Pilkington Recs 45 Bank Quay Bulls 16
TEENAGE winger Kyran Knapper crossed for a hat trick on his first team debut as the brilliant Ryan Rogers led Recs to the inaugural Domino’s North West League Grand Final.
The comprehensive victory at Liverpool St Helens' Moss Lane ground puts the red, amber and blacks through to Sunday's showpiece against Wigan St Cuthberts.
Recs, who have finished runners up in four out of the past five winter seasons, have the chance to be crowned champions for the first time in 32 years.
Here stand off Rogers underlined the sublime skill that has earned him Lancashire honours, while the loose forward Jamie Smith led the fight against the big Bulls pack.
Rogers created the opener with a wide pass giving 17-year-old Knapper a yard of pace, which he took advantage of to round his opposite number and cross in the corner.
The Bulls replied when Nick Braide touched down under the posts after Recs failed to deal with an up and under.
A quickfire exchange of passing involving Richard Rafferty, Mark Ashton and Danny Lynch ended with Rogers crossing for his first.
Then Ashton and centre Ryan Hilliard created an overlap to put Knapper in for his second.
Recs were dominant but they lost their composure midway through the half and the Warrington side made them pay when Ste Ogden was first to a perfectly weighted grubber to the corner.
With a six point gap at half time, the tie was in the balance, but once Recs began to move the ball with pace and purpose they drilled holes in the Bank Quay defence.
Ryan Liptrot’s clever switch of play caught the defence off guard and the powerful Smith surged 40 metres to the tryline.
And they went further ahead when Rogers went on an arcing run from 20 metres out and had too much pace for the cover.
The Bulls kept plugging away and Anthony Braide’s try and Glynn Roberts second conversion of the evening kept the game alive.
However, when prop Ste Charlson went over for a converted try and Rogers struck a drop the game was sealed.
All that remained was for the long striding stand off to show a remarkable turn of foot to go more than 50 metres to complete his treble and for Knapper to squeeze in at the corner to cap a memorable debut.
Danny Lynch goaled from the touchline to make it six successful conversions for the evening.
Smith was the Duke of Cambridge man of the match and Rogers was the MaGuire electrical services supporters’ player of the match.
Sunday’s final takes place at Widnes’s Stobart Stadium, kick off noon.