JOE Philbin is “on cloud nine” after lifting the Challenge Cup with his hometown club.

Former Culcheth Eagles junior Philbin got the ball rolling for The Wire at Wembley by scoring the opening try in their 18-4 win over St Helens.

Having also scored the winning try in the semi-final victory over Hull FC, the prop forward is developing a taste for big moments in this competition.

Warrington Guardian:

Joe Philbin scores The Wire's opening try at Wembley. Picture by Mike Boden

“I’m just loving the Challenge Cup, I think,” he said.

“I’m on cloud nine at the moment, absolutely over the moon. I can’t really put into words what’s happened but I’m really happy.

“We lost two finals last year, which was so disappointing but I feel like it geared us up for this week.

“Saints are the best team in the competition and have won the League Leaders’ Shield by a country mile, but we just had this belief.

“We had a few deep chats with each other about what we were going to bring and nobody let their teammates down.

“We were all completely on it for 80 minutes.

“We’ve had a lot of people on the outside questioning us but we don’t mind that as we’ve got that belief.

“To lift that cup with my mates was just unbelievable.”

Warrington Guardian:

Philbin and fellow Warringtonian Declan Patton. Picture by Mike Boden

With The Wire leading 12-0 at half time, Saints found their stride after the break and put them under serious pressure.

Warrington were out on their feet but found a second wind from somewhere to see the job through against all the odds.

Philbin was keen to praise the job done by Jack Hughes, who operated in the stand-off position for most of the game to counteract the threat of Saints half Jonny Lomax.

“When everyone was out on their feet and their backs are running at 100 miles per hour at you, it’s taxing but we found something,” he said.

“Games like that come down to big moments and I could name about five from us.

“Bryson Goodwin knocked Tommy Makinson’s arm when he looked like scoring, Jack Hughes coming back so early from a ruptured testicle – Jonny Lomax has been ripping teams apart down that side and he just completely neutralised him.

“There’s so many I could name.

“We’ve got a big game coming up on Thursday so we can’t go too mad, but we will definitely celebrate.

“Hopefully the streets will be littered with primrose and blue on Monday – I can’t wait to experience it.”