7th May 1960: St Helens 9 Wigan 19
Posted by cherryandwhite on December 06 2012 - 03:33

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St Helens 9 Wigan 19 - Saturday 7th May 1960
Venue: Knowsley Road, St Helens
Competition: League - Championship Play Offs Semi Final (1st Place v 4th Place)
Kick Off: 6:30pm


1. Fred Griffiths, 2. Billy Boston, 3. Eric Ashton, 4. Keith Holden, 5. Syd Fenton, 6. Mick Sullivan, 7. Dave Bolton


8. John Barton, 9. Bill Sayer, 10. Brian McTigue, 11. Frank Collier, 12. Geoff Lyon, 13. Roy Evans

WiganlTries:l Billy Boston 2, John Barton
WiganlGoals:l Fred Griffiths 5


1. Austin Rhodes, 2. Tom van Vollenhoven, 3. Ken Large, 4. Brian McGinn, 5. Jan Prinsloo, 6. Alex Murphy, 7. Alan Briers


8. Ab Terry, 9. James Rose, 10. Derek Brown, 11. Brian Briggs, 12. Dick Huddart, 13. Vince Karalius

StlHelenslTries:l Tom van Vollenhoven
StlHelenslGoals:l Austin Rhodes 3

Saints had led the league championship throughout the season but ended up being humbled at the first play off hurdle by a Wigan side that had finished thirteen points below them. The highly anticipated semi final kicked off in the evening to avoid a clash with the Blackburn v Wolverhampton (Dave Whelan Broken Leg) FA Cup Final that was being televised by the BBC in the afternoon.

Wigan had decided to swap positions between Mick Sullivan and Syd Fenton with the former going to Stand Off and the latter to the wing. This was a tactic to halt Alex Murphy but what transpired was both he and Sullivan being sent off just before half time for fighting with the score 7-2 to Saints at that point.

Saints had taken the lead with a penalty goal from Austin Rhodes but Fred Griffiths responded with one of his own for 2-2. Saints found the first try when Ken Large sent Tom van Vollenhoven under the posts for a 7-2 lead after Rhodes converted. Then came the send off incident and Wigan began to take control after that. Billy Boston and Vince Karalius switched to half back and it was Boston who was more effective. He scored before half time with an unconverted try.

Boston had been kept quiet by Murphy until the send offs but was now making a big impact on the game. They chipped into a 9-7 lead with two penalty goals from Griffiths before Eric Ashton sent Boston in for his second try, having a first looked like he'd bombed a two man overlap chance. Griffiths converted for 14-7 and although Rhodes brought that lead back to a converted try at 14-9, Wigan starved Saints out of possession but only found the match clinching try in the final minute when John Barton powered past weak tackling from James Rose. Griffiths converted and Saints were left to be declared the "Champions that never were".

Half Time:l St Helens 7 Wigan 5
Attendance:l 33,000
Referee:l Eric Clay (Rothwell)

Other Championship Play Off Semi Final Result

Saturday 7th May 1960
Wakefield Trinity 24 Hull 4 (2nd Place v 3rd Place)