22nd May 1971: Wigan 12 St Helens 16 - (Championship Final)
Posted by cherryandwhite on December 28 2012 - 19:57

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Saturday 22nd May 1971

Wigan 12 St Helens 16
Station Road, Swinton
League - Championship Play Offs Final

Kick Off 3:00pm


 (Second Half Delayed 4:50-5:45pm)

Wigan Team

Colin Tyrer


Kevin O'Loughlin


Bill Francis


Peter Rowe


Stuart Wright


David Hill


Warren Ayres


Brian Hogan


Colin Clarke


Geoff Fletcher


Bill Ashurst

 T   G2 
12.  Dave Robinson  T   
13.  Doug Laughton    


Sub.  Eddie Cunningham    

St Helens 

1. Geoff Pimblett, 2. Les Jones, 3. Billy Benyon, 4. Johnny Walsh, 5. Bob Blackwood, 6. Alan Whittle, 7. Jeff Heaton, 8. John Stephens, 9. Tony Karalius, 10. Graham Rees, 11. John Mantle, 12. Eric Chisnall, 13. Kel Coslett. Sub: Bobby Wanbon.

Tries: Billy Benyon, Bob Blackwood
Goals: Kel Coslett 5


A very sore loss for Wigan supporters in this title deciding final. Bossing the game, 12-6 up with ten minutes left and against a 12 men Saints, it all looked easy for Wigan. But a try from Bob Blackwood and goal by Kel Coslett reduced the lead to 12-11. Injury time approached and desperate Saints attempted a drop goal (worth two points in 1971) to win the match. Johnny Walsh's effort sliced well wide. However the ball bounced awkwardly for the defending Stuart Wright and Colin Tyrer and Billy Benyon pounced to score the game winning try. Wigan players were screaming that Benyon was offside, in fact they complained that every Saints player, bar full back Geoff Pimblett and Walsh the kicker, was offside, but the try stood and Saints had won, despite the conversion missing. Harold Mather in the Guardian Newspaper wrote that Wigan were "the better team" but "paid the full penalty for relaxing once Mantle had been dismissed". Worth noting also that Colin Tyrer kicked only 1 of 7 attempts at goal. All in all this was a title decider completely bombed by Wigan.

Half Time: 

Wigan 3 St Helens 6




E.Lawrinson (Warrington)

HS Trophy: 

Bill Ashurst (Wigan)


The BBC extended Grandstand to show recorded coverage of the second half with them showing an England v Scotland Football International Live at 3pm.



BBC 1 - Saturday 22nd May 1971
9:35am Square Two
10:00am Si Dice Cose (till 10:30am)
12:15pm Weather
12:20pm Charlie Chaplin: A Night at the Show
12:45pm Grandstand presented by David Coleman from Wembley Stadium and Frank Bough including......
12:50 Football Preview
1:10 Boxing: Fight of the Week - John McCluskey v Colin Miles (Harry Carpenter)
1:30 Rothmans Hard Court Tennis Championships of Great Britain - Ladies Singles Final: Margaret Court v Evonne Goolagong (Dan Maskill and Bill Knight)
1:50, 2:25 Horse Racing from Newbury (Peter O'Sullevan)
2:05, 2:35 Home International Football: England v Scotland (David Coleman)
4:50 Rugby League - League Championship Final: St Helens v Wigan (Eddie Waring)
5:45pm Pink Panther
6:05pm News
6:15pm Dr. Who
6:40pm Tom and Jerry
6:50pm Film: "Horizons West" (starring Robert Ryan, Julia Adams, Rock Hudson)
8:10pm The Two Ronnies (Ronnie Barker, Ronnie Corbett)
8:55pm A Man Called Ironside: Seeing is Believing
9:45pm News
10:00pm Match of the Day: England v Scotland & Northern Ireland v Wales
11:15pm Braden's Week
11:50pm Weather, National Anthem, Closedown