WHAT a night! I never ever thought there would be a moment on a rugby league pitch to rival ‘Wide to West’ for sheer wow factor...but Jack Welsby may have just come up with it!

The 19-year-old came up with a moment of magic to win Saints their second consecutive Betfred Super League Grand Final.

The young centre never gave up the chase from Tommy Makinson’s drop kick to beat Warriors full back Bevan French to the ball and touch down, sending his teammates into raptures.

The game was always set to be a classic.

A derby between the two best teams all year, but also a final hurrah to two legends of the sport in Wigan skipper Sean O’Loughlin and Saints very own icon James Graham gave the match that bit more significance.

It’s was Jammer who signed off on the highest of highs, but I would like to personally congratulate both on their magnificent careers.

Both have led from the front with distinction, be it for club or country, and deserved to sign off on the biggest stage.

St Helens Star:

As a game, it certainly didn’t disappoint. There was always going to be very little to separate these two teams, and at half time Saints led with the slimmest of margins 2-0 with only a Lachlan Coote penalty, despite dominating field position and scoring opportunities, but failed to break down the Warriors dogged defence.

However, it was Wigan who came out of the blocks in the second half, continuously piling on the pressure down the Saints left edge, eventually breaking them as Jake Bibby crossed for what looked like being the games only try! Hardaker hit the crossbar with the conversion, as the Warriors took a 4-2 lead.

A 72nd minute Coote penalty levelled things, to set up and end to end last 8 minutes...before Makinson’s pot shot and Welsby’s endeavour saw the Betfred Super League trophy head back to the Totally Wicked Stadium.

I was very honoured to be asked to present the Harry Sunderland Award for Man of the Match, selected by a panel of journalists.

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Who else but Captain Marvel James Roby took the award for the second time in his illustrious career. Roby was, as per outstanding but in my opinion must have been pushed close by the relentless James Bentley.

Clocking up 69 tackles and a double figure of carries, Bentley competed for everything. If there was a loose ball on the floor you could guarantee he’d be on it.

It’s that competitiveness and effort that took him from a squad player at the start of the 2020 season to a starting second row and no doubt one of the first names on Kristian Woolf’s team sheet.

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He will no doubt have a massive part to play in lots more Saints silverware.

As well as James Graham, the club say goodbye to two other Super League champions in Zeb Taia who also hung up the boots after an outstanding career, and Dom Peyroux who joins Super League hopefuls Toulouse Olympique.

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So, that’s it for an unprecedented Betfred Super League season. It’s without doubt the result the Saints faithful would have been hoping for at the start of the year, but certainly not in the way things have unfolded since March.

Let’s just hope the world is a different place come March 2021 and we can get fans flocking back to games and behind their teams in the Betfred Super League. I’m certainly looking forward to it.

Wishing everyone a happy and safe Christmas and New Year.

All pictures are copyright: Bernard Platt