WEST Park, featuring former Saints dual code international Maurie Fa'asavalu in their ranks, defeated Liverpool St Helens 18-17 at Moss Lane.

This much awaited local derby in the Lancashire ADM Premier League was played in front of a sizeable and passionate crowd, most certainly did not disappoint.

St Helens Star:

In every aspect, except the final score, it was an even game.

The scores were level at half time, 3-3, with penalties landed by Matty Wood and Ryan Littler; the penalty count was pretty even at 9/8.

St Helens Star:

The visitors, playing with the squally rain and swirling wind had the better of the first half whilst LSH had domination in the second, until the fateful last few minutes; and both sides scored two tries.

St Helens Star:

LSH winger Sam Walker broke the deadlock after 56 minutes, just reaching out to the line following a fine run, followed by a touchline conversion from Wood.

West Park hit back with another Littler penalty 13 minutes later, 10-6, before LSH made their pressure tell in the 72nd minute after a Park clearance kick was charged down and Matty Cunliffe battled his way over under the posts, converted again by Wood for a 17-6 lead.

St Helens Star:

LSH, for whom full back Matty Johnston had a fine game throughout, then found themselves on the back foot for the remainder of the game.

West Park inspired by the introduction of ex-Saints treble winner Fa'asavalu for his second stint, gradually worked their way back into contention.

With time running out centre John Pape carved his way through the LSH defence to send in Lee Daniel for a converted score 17-13 to set up a grandstand finish.

St Helens Star:

LSH appeared to be holding on until deep into time added on, a disastrous fumble on their own line led to West Park gaining unexpected possession and the ball was swung left for the winning try from Jack Holland.

LSH’s game at Widnes this weekend is now on Friday night (8th) KO 7.30.

St Helens Star:

Fa'asavalu was a hugely popular playing at Saints after making his debut in 2004, after featuring in Samoa's World Cup team.

He played 163 times for Saints, scoring 39 times, and was in the Grand Slam team of 2006. His cup winning post match celebrations were a feature of the Daniel Anderson era.

He returned to rugby union with Harlequins in 2010.

Now aged 41, Fa'asavalu still clearly has a hunger for the oval-ball game.

Pictures: Colin Douglas