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Patton returns to kick start Wolves’ season

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PICTURES EDDIE WHITHAM

YOUNG half-back Dec Patton returned from the wilderness to help Warrington Wolves’ kick start their season with an impressive 25-14 victory over Leeds Rhinos. 

The 21-year-old turned in a man-of-the-match performance after being left out of the squad for the last four games as Warrington secured their first victory of the season over a Leeds team which had won their last four games.

Patton produced an impeccable kicking game which helped lift the Wolves off the bottom of the table.

The game started with controversy when Wolves veteran Bennie Westwood was sin binned for a late challenge on Leeds’ Liam Sutcliffe, which left him concussed and unable to return for the rest of the game.

While Westwood, who was lucky not to see red, spent 10 minutes int he sin bin, the visitors took the lead as Tom Briscoe stretched out to score, although Golding was wide with the conversion.

The rest of the half pretty much belonged to Warrington, with a lot due to Patton’s kicking game. On 14 minutes Patton launched a high kick which was patted back by Tom Lineham for Ryan Atkins to score a walk over try. Patton then guided over the kick from out wide to make it 6-4.

Then on 30 minutes a cross field kick, this time by Kurt Gidley saw Atkins over for his second try and Patton again on target to make it 12-4.

Four minutes later Atkins was claiming his hat-trick after tounching down a grubber kick but the video referee ruled it out leaving it 12-4 at the break.

During the interval The Voice winner Mo Ardeniran, a Wolves fan, entertained the crowd.

Three minutes after the re-start Warrington had extended their lead as a seeping pasing movement involving Gidley Patton and then Westwood sent Lineham over out wide, with Patton again on target to make it 18-4.

But Leeds hit back on 54 minutes, keeping the ball alive brillaintly forcing a drop out and a repeat set  saw Parcell  force his way over from dummy half. But Golding was again wide making it 18-8.

Then on 61 minutes it was game on as back to back penalties allowed Leeds to score again as Joel Moon slid over from a Delaney off load. Watkins took over the kicking duties and duly converted making it 18-14.

But Warrington held their nerve and there was a huge sigh of relief as Kurt Gidley forced his way over close to the line, with Patton again adding tghe extras to make it 24-14.

The young half back then capped off a fine night with a last minute left footed drop-goal to complete the scoring.

After the game, Head of Coaching Tony Smith, who had set Patton the challenge of earning his shirt, said: “Dec was good. His game management was good too. He challenged the line and took on the opposition. He looked the part.”

He added: “I am pleased for the players. They are working hard and we had faith it would come.”

ryan-atkins-try

Try time for Ryan Atkins -Picture Eddie Whitham

 

WOLVES: Ratchford; Russell, T King, Atkins, Lineham; Patton, Gidley; Hill, Clark, Sims, Westwood, Hughes, Westerman. Subs: Philbin, Dwyer, Evans, G King.

LEEDS: Golding; Briscoe, Watkins, Keinhorst, Hall; McGuire, Moon; Garbutt, Burrow, Cuthbertson, Ablett, Sutcliffe, Jones-Buchanan. Subs: Mullally, Parcell, Delaney, Walters.

 

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About Author

Experienced journalist for more than 30 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC and current director. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management

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