AS Dec Patton started to think about celebrating a unique family double, he said it felt like somebody had hit the pause button during the closing stages of the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley.

His brother Junior Westwood had already won the Champion Schools trophy with Great Sankey High School year seven rugby league team in the curtain-raiser and his maiden medal as a first-team player was in sight.

“I can remember them shouting ‘six minutes’ remaining.

“I wouldn’t say I was clock-watching but the game felt like it was on pause for 10 minutes,” said the 24-year-old former Cardinal Newman High School pupil.

“Everyone’s legs had gone, everyone was cramping up every two minutes.

“I’d probably say it’s the hardest game I’ve ever played in my life.

“I have played in a few finals but it’s the first time I’ve felt a win as a first-team player. It was brilliant, unbelievable.

“I was pulling myself up on the rails just to get up the steps to lift the cup with the lads.

“To get my hands on the trophy, it was unbelievable.

“I’ve watched finals as a kid, and last year watched from the pitch as Catalans lifted it when we fell short.

“I’m pinching myself now.

“I said in the changing rooms afterwards: ‘What’s just happened?’

“It was a good day for Warrington all round with Great Sankey winning as well.

“As I was going out to warm up the lads told me Great Sankey had scored in the last minute to win it, so I’m made up for Junior as well.”

Warrington Guardian:

Patton leads the changing room celebrations after the game. Picture by Mike Boden

The Wire scrum-half, who was playing his 100th game for the club, said the camp used the underdogs tag to their advantage.

“Everyone wrote us off all through the week and we used that as a bit of a fire in our belly,” he added.

“It just shows what can happen in rugby league. It’s a tough sport.

“Everyone was backing us last year and it didn’t happen.

“We know we’ve got a special group of players. We’ve only seen it in patches and have been through a rough time in the league recently but it shows as a team we can come together in the big games and we can win them.

“Fingers crossed now we will enjoy ourselves and get back on to it for the final part of the season.

“I’m just proud of everyone on that pitch, it was unbelievable.

“Everyone gave their all.

“There were lads spewing up after the game.

“It just shows how much everyone put in.

“We kind of all got our second wind in the second half.

“Saints were exactly the same as us, they were battling.

“They had us on the back foot for a 10 to 15-minute period and we stuck in there to keep them off our line.

“We finally got a bit of ball in good areas and started to turn over possession where we needed to and the game changed.”

Head coach Steve Price has kept faith in the England Knights international all year following first-choice number seven dropping from the squad with a ruptured Achilles before the campaign got started.

The hometown product has come under heavy criticism at times in a new partnership with marquee player Blake Austin, while the Australian has been leading the Man of Steel voting after a series of eye-catching performances.

But with Austin’s absence through injury on Saturday being the headline story going into the final, Patton snuck under the radar.

The way he organised the side, delivered a stunning kicking game, and guided his teammates around the field left his coach saying: “It’s the best Dec has played for a long, long time.”

Patton, though, paid tribute to the emergency stand-off at his side.

Jack Hughes, who has popped up in the second row, front row and in the centres this year, has now also delivered for the team at number six on the grandest stage of all.

And the co-captain did so upon his return to the team just three weeks after rupturing a testicle against Catalans Dragons on a difficult day all round in the south of France three weeks earlier.

“He was brilliant,” said Patton.

“We had a good game plan going into this week and I thought we executed it pretty well and we ended up winning so it’s worked out pretty good.

“It just shows what sort of person he is to put his body through what he has done.

“He’s a good captain and a good lad.”