SPIRIT OF 55: Warrington Wolves' impressive triumph for persistence in the face of adversity

Warrington Guardian: Albert Naughton, Wolves' winning captain in the Championship final of 1955 Albert Naughton, Wolves' winning captain in the Championship final of 1955

WOLVES’ seventh performance of the season was truly magnificent.

Like all great stories there was adversity. The first half was cruel on Wire, despite having outplayed their opponents they trailed 14-4.

The first Huddersfield try came from a break out of nothing around the halfway line and the second came from a freakishly unfortunate bounce from Wire’s own high kick.

In between those tries a simple handling move to the left gave Rhys Evans enough room to expertly glide over in the corner.

At half time Wire were faced with how they were going to turn pressure into points, a problem they’ve had all season.

Like trying to knock a wall down with a sledgehammer, they chose to use the same sledgehammer, the same swing, to hit the wall in the same place – only they were going to hit it harder and if that didn’t work they were going to hit it harder still.

Virtually the entire second period was played out in Huddersfield’s half, like watching the build up against some floodgates as the tide turned and the effects of a downpour came rushing down a mountain.

For a long time though Huddersfield looked like they might be able to hang on to the lead, for what would have been a great injustice.

Michael Monaghan’s introduction helped the team go forward and with their creativity close to the line.

All the young players played with the responsibility of seasoned veterans, in particular Matty Russell and Rhys Evans made themselves virtually impossible to drop.

Richie Myler stepped through a gap in the retreating Huddersfield defence with around 20 minutes to go to finally push those floodgates to the point of bursting.

Still four points behind it was time to hit that wall even harder.

Westwood crashed over near the corner to level the scores.

Huddersfield desperately tried to hold the gates shut but they were battling against the tide.

Russell supported a Micky Higham break down the middle to race between the posts and give Wire a six-point lead with about eight minutes to go. Stefan Ratchford chipped over a drop goal a minute or so later.

With the gates well and truly open the confidence flowed like the water and two brilliant off-the-cuff handling moves created tries for both wingers Gene Ormsby then Joel Monaghan to wrap up a greatly impressive triumph for persistence in the face of adversity.

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