WARRIORS under-19s held off St Helens to win their Grand Final at the DW Stadium.
Matty Peet’s men, who also won the title last year, looked in control for most of the match which was the curtain raiser to Wigan’s Super League clash with Castleford.
The young lineup included four of the five players promoted to next year’s senior squad: Joe Bretherton, Gabriel Fell, Nick Gregson and Luke Waterworth.
Kyle Shelford got Wigan off to the perfect start by dummying the defence before diving over by the posts - but it didn’t set the tone for one way traffic.
Saints quickly composed themselves and after a couple of missed chances, Rob Fairclough’s neat pass opened a gap for Ben Morris to score. Richardson’s goal levelled the score.
And Saints threatened to take the lead when second rower Morgan Knowles scattered defenders to steam downfield, with nice passes swapped with Ricky Bailey adding gloss to the move.
But Warriors survived such threats and substitute Paddy Jones helped himself to a try five minutes before the break, colliding with a gang of defenders and ending up at the bottom of the pile to ground the ball.
While Saints’ defence proved difficult to break, Wigan took control in the second half - camping on their opponents’ line for long periods with the encouragement of the steadily building crowd.
Macauley Davies was first over to put Wigan a step closer to the trophy, taking an inside pass from namesake Tom which in fairness looked a touch forward.
Full-back Gabriel Fell showed Warriors fans why he has been promoted to next season’s first team squad by claiming the try which sealed the game.
And Liam Marshall showed he isn’t far off by doing his best Joe Burgess impression to race from deep inside his own half towards the line before being hauled down inches short.
Saints had the final say when a smooth passing move found winger Dave Eccleston who scored a neat try - but it didn’t threaten to spoil the Wigan party.
Wigan Warriors: Gabriel Fell, Liam Marshall, Liam Paisley, Macauley Davies, Tom Davies, Nick Gregson, Lewis Heckford, Jor Bretherton, Luke Waterworth, Kieran Sherrat, Jack Wells, Callum Field, Kyle Shelford
Subs: Josh Ganson, Sam Brady, Paddy Jones, Brad Lawrence
Tries: Shelford, Jones, M Davies, Fell
Goals: Gregson 2
St Helens: Ricky Bailey, Dave Eccleston, Jack Spedding, Matty Fleming, Matty Costello, Danny Richardson, Rob Fairclough, Levy Nzoungou, Josh Eaves, Olly Davies, Morgan Knowles, Liam Cooper, Joe Ryan
Subs: Matty Lees, Ben Morris, Ross McCauley, Jonah Cunningham
Tries: Morris, Eccleston