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Title: ... p43 Les Boyd - (p98) Andy Gregory(p99) Ellery Hanley - New Years Eve Punchup Wilderspool 1988 -- Edd

p43 Les Boyd - (p98) Andy Gregory(p99) Ellery Hanley-While the game itself had a dramatic finale, it was the opening 20 minutes which captured all the headlines


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Eddie Gordo - Match Report from www.thisiswarringtonwolves.co.uk




Warrington v Wigan, 1 January, 1988 NEW YEAR'S DAY PUNCH-UP - WILDERSPOOL

has staged many bad tempered matches but nothing compares to the New Year's Day 'derby' against Wigan in 1988.

While the game itself had a dramatic finale, it was the opening 20 minutes which captured all the headlines.

Wilderspool's biggest 'gate' of the season and highest league attendance for 15 years - 10,056 - ended up watching an 11-a-side game.

Southport referee Kevin Allatt sent four players off as the game boiled over. Another player was sent to the sin bin.

Afterwards, Warrington coach Tony Barrow described the episode as 'World War Three.'

The start was delayed eight minutes to allow the crowd to get in but on the pitch there was trouble from the first minute as Warrington's Les Boyd and Wigan's Adrian Shelford clashed.

There were other clashes before the game errupted on eight minutes, when Boyd and Andy Gregory tangled. Players from both sides piled in and Allatt ended up sending off Warrington's Tony Humphries with Wigan's Shelford.

Boyd was ordered to the sin bin. Even that did not end the hostility for on 20 minutes Wigan second rower Andy Goodway, currently the Great Britain coach, felled Paul Cullen and was sent marching to the tunnel.

As Goodway walked to the tunnel Cullen chased after him and launched himself at the Wigan player. A new brawl erupted and Cullen and Goodway had to be separated before the Warrington centre was also dismissed.

Cullen's moment of madness cost him a two match ban and probably cost Warrington victory, although Tony Barrow claimed at the time that Goodway had stamped on Cullen as he trooped towards the exit.

Thankfully, that was the end of the scenes but the game had already been tarnished. Wigan then opened the scoring when Ellery Hanley broke clear from the half way line.

Warrington responded with Australian Boyd leading the fightback. His power running set up touch downs for Billy McGinty and Brian Johnson. A drop goal from John Woods just before half-time gave Warrington a 13-4 advantage.

Then Gregory added his influence. His kick brought a try for Steve Hampson and then he was involved in the play that put Hanley over for his second try that gave Wigan a 14-13 lead.

Woods put over a penalty for off side but Gregory's drop goal two minutes from the end gave them a share of the spoils.

Warrington were in second place in the Stones Bitter Championship at the time - chasing Widnes for the title.

Result: Warrington 15 Wigan 15


Brian Johnson; Des Drummond, Paul Cullen, Joe Ropati, David Lyon; John Woods, Martin Crompton; Les Boyd, Kevin Tamati, Tony Humphries, Bob Jackson, Ronnie Duane, Billy McGinty.

Subs: Mark Roberts, Gary Sanderson.

Tries: McGinty, Johnson.

Goals: Woods 3.

Drop goal: Woods.

Appears in the following pages ....P43_Les BOYD, P98_Andy GREGORY, P99_Ellery HANLEY
Date of posting ... 14-Dec-2003
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