St Helens 4 Warrington Wolves 18: Daryl Clark stars in Challenge Cup shock

Warrington's Daryl Clark celebrates winning man of the match and the Coral Challenge Cup Final at Wembley. Picture: Paul Harding/PA
Warrington's Daryl Clark celebrates winning man of the match and the Coral Challenge Cup Final at Wembley. Picture: Paul Harding/PA
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FORMER Castleford Tigers hooker Daryl Clark produced a man of the match performance as Warrington Wolves stunned St Helens in the Coral Challenge Cup final.

Clark, a runner-up once with Castleford and twice as a Warrington player, scored the clinching try to cap an all-action display, which included a tackle to prevent Regan Grace from scoring late on.

Warrington's  Clint Hill and Chris Hughes celebrate winning the Coral Challenge Cup Final at Wembley: Paul Harding/PA

Warrington's Clint Hill and Chris Hughes celebrate winning the Coral Challenge Cup Final at Wembley: Paul Harding/PA

Warrington - second in Betfred Super League, but 16 points behind the leaders - were 12-0 ahead at half-time and Saints rarely looked like pulling the game from the fire despite scoring first in the second half.

Saints made a series of errors while Warrington dug deep in defence and were more clinical with the ball.

It might have been different had Saints gone ahead after just two minutes.

Referee Robert Hicks had no hesitation signalling for a 20-metre restart from a grubber kick by Theo Fages, but replays suggested Morgan Knowles had got the ball down cleanly over Warrington's line.

Warrington's Daryl Clark celebrates scoring against St Helens at Wembley. Picture: Paul Harding/PA

Warrington's Daryl Clark celebrates scoring against St Helens at Wembley. Picture: Paul Harding/PA

The first try did not come until the 26th minute, moments after Saints had one ruled out.

Mark Percival touched down, but video referee Ben Thaler confirmed the on-field decision of no try due to a knock on by Zeb Taia.

Warrington made the most of their escape as Joe Philbin stormed over from first receiver in their next set.

Just five minutes later Lachlan Coote, Saints' full-back, spilled a towering kick from Ratchford and following the scrum Ben Murdoch-Masila stretched over the top of Jonny Lomax from Jack Hughes' pass, St4fan Ratchford booting his second conversion.

A minute's silence was held before kick-off in memory of Batley Bulldogs player Archie Bruce who died last week. Picture Paul Harding/PA Wire.

A minute's silence was held before kick-off in memory of Batley Bulldogs player Archie Bruce who died last week. Picture Paul Harding/PA Wire.

Referee Hicks and video assistant Thaler denied both teams in the opening five minutes of the second half.

First, Warrington's Tom Lineham forced his way over from acting-half, but was penalised for making contact with teammate Ratchford who was in front of him; then Tommy Makinson dived over at the other end, but the ball came loose in Bryson Goodwin's last-ditch tackle.

Saints finally got points on the board on 55 minutes when Dec Patton kicked out on the full from close to his own line and in the resulting set Fages stepped through Warrington's defence for a well-taken try, though Coote was off target with his conversion attempt.

That left Warrington with some crucial breathing space and Clark sealed it from close-range, following errors by Coote and Fages.