Battling Wakefield Wildcats fall agonisingly short against Warrington Wolves

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BATTLING Wakefield Trinity Wildcats were edged out by just two points in a thrilling game at high-flying Warrington Wolves.

Wildcats led for an hour at the Halliwell Jones Stadium and deserved something for their efforts but Wolves upped their gear in the second half to edge it 32-30.

Things started well in the sunshine for Richard Agar's men as Danny Washbrook crossed the whitewash early on, Isaac John successfully converting.

Wolves hit back through former Wakefield winger Ryan Atkins but Lee Briers couldn't add the extras. Wakefield were on top throughout the first half, however, and after Ben Cockayne was stopped short on a break John was soon over the line, converting his own try to extend Wakefield's lead. Richie Mathers was next across the try-line for Wakefield although Richie Myler kept Tony Smith's men in it with a try after the half-hour.

John's penalty two minutes from time, his fourth successful kick over the sticks, gave Wildcats a deserved 20-12 lead the break.

Warrington came out in a higher gear for the second half and just two minutes had elapsed before Myler crossed for his second try.

Wakefield showed they weren't going to wilt away when Ali Lauitiiti eased over, John again converting to make it 26-12 to Wakefield.

But Wolves enjoyed their best spell of the match when former Wildcat Ben Westwood, who was superb throughout, scored and then Simon Grix added another try just after the hour mark. Both were converted and the second gave the hosts the lead for the first time in the match.

Joel Monaghan gave Wolves some breathing space with the next try in the corner but a late Vince Mellars try set up a tense finish. John, who kicked well throughout, got the direction on his kick but it fell agonisingly short.

Warrington: Riley, J Monaghan, Bridge, Atkins, Williams, Briers, Myler, Morley, M Monaghan, Hill, Waterhouse, Westwood, Grix. Subs: Wood, Cooper, Blythe, Dwyer.

Wakefield: Mathers, Fox, Kirmond, Mellars, Cockayne, John, Smith, Raleigh, Aiton, Amor, Southern, Lauitiiti, Washbrook. Subs: Wood, Johnson, Wilkes, Walshaw.

Referee: Thierry Alibert.

Attendance: 10,686.

See this week's Wakefield Express Sport for all the latest sports news from around the district.