FOR Warrington RUFC, there was no place like home on Saturday.

Grappenhall Sports Club hosted its maiden first-team game since becoming the club’s new base, and the hosts marked it in style with a thrilling win over Broughton Park.

A superb opening quarter laid the foundations for a 20-19 victory – only their second triumph of the season.

It meant they finished a difficult 2019 on a high and head coach Andy Roberts says their new surroundings more than played their part.

“I am delighted to have won on our debut at our new home and am heartened by the support we got,” he said.

“Our first 20 minutes showed what we really can do but we need learn to replicate that performance for 80 minutes.”

A combination of power and guile led to skipper Josh Downes giving Warrington the perfect start on five minutes as he crashed over having picked a subtle line.

Kieran Hughes – back after a considerable lay-off – side-stepped and out-sprinted the Broughton defence to improve the scoreline, with Luke Gillooly adding the extras.

Broughton hit back with two tries of their own but Gilooly kicked a penalty in between them to ensure Warrington held the lead at the break.

A tense second half followed but a counter-attack from Jack Stride led to him kicking on for Hughes to touch down his second score.

Almost immediately, however, the visitors charged down a relieving kick to score their third try and narrow the gap to just one point.

That led to a nervy closing period but Warrington mastered the defensive scrums to close out victory.

Roberts’ side are not in action again until Saturday, January 4, when they host Vale of Lune.

The change of scenery paid off for the under 16s, too, as they thrashed their Vale of Lune counterparts 40-5 to progress in the Lancashire Cup.

Six tries from as many different scorers featured while Matty Hope was in superb form with the boot, kicking five conversions including four from the touchline.

Nathan Bass, Charlie Bancroft and Jacob Arrowsmith scored in the first half before tries from Owen Hemmings, Jim Hartill and Cam Sutcliffe secured the victory after the break.