LAST gasp Saints have won back to back Super League titles after a dramatic after the hooter try from youngster and first time Grand Finalist Jack Welsby.

They won an utterly absorbing encounter 8-4 against their bitter rivals Wigan, but needed to use up their full quota of Hail Marys in the final minutes.

Wigan had taken a late lead from a Jake Bibby try 15 minutes from time and it needed a Lachlan Coote penalty, to add to his first half effort, to level.

But as the game approached its last minute Wigan had the chance to steal it with a penalty from the half way.

Zak Hardaker, who hit the post with the earlier conversion, fell short – and that gave all the incentive Saints needed to attack back.

With Golden Point beckoning, Tommy Makinson’s attempted drop goal hit the post as the hooter sounded – but in shades of Billy Benyon in the 1971 Championship Final – Welsby was up as quick as flash to touch down.

The wait was agonising, but well worth it – and even before the video ref had given it the nod, the players were celebrating wildly.

Nobody was going take this one away from them.

It had been an utterly absorbing encounter that proved that you did not need a try a minute to make compelling viewing.

Saints had the lion’s share of possession in the opening quarter – but for all that ball and field position they could not come up with the play to crack it.

Theo Fages’ high kicks to the right were defused by Joe Burgess again and they dealt with the tight grubbers from Harry Sunderland winner James Roby were scooped away.

It was a different approach from Saints, and they did not simply plough it up the middle like last time out.

Instead they tried to play on the edges, but had probably not won the right in terms of sucking in men and the Wigan defence was again equal to the task.

Having failed to breach the Wigan defence, Saints then had to do a fair bit of toil in keeping their own line intact after the League Leaders profited from a penalty and a repeat set and then pressed.

Saints’ defence was equal to the task – especially when Kevin Naiqama jumped out of the line allowing Zak Hardaker an opportunity to pierce the line only be swamped Only score of the half came just before the hooter when Morgan Smithies hit Coote late after he had kicked it.

Start of second half twice forced repeat sets Roby slid another grubber through ricochet touched down by Zeb Taia, but sent upstairs as no try and then ruled offside by the video ref.

Saints at this stage were taking it up a notch, with Lomax increasingly taking on the line and Roby so close on one of his darts from dummy half.

But the line still would not crack.

And as in the first half the pendulum swung towards Wigan’s way from a penalty and then a drop out – but a combination of keen Saints defence, some wayward handling and a too early a dive from Joe Burgess kept the Warriors scoreless.

But then under pressure, Coote’s kick rebound and was immediately claimed by Wigan and they immediately cashed in.

They shifted the ball right, with swift hands sending Jake Bibby over in the corner. Hardaker’s kick hit the post and how crucial that would be.

The Warriors had a 4-2 lead and control of the game.

Saints needed to pull something out of the bag, and two indiscretions by Wigan gave them the opportunity to level.

They tapped the first and then two plays in made sure after Jackson Hastings high tackle was picked up.

Coote took the two to level.

But then the fun started. With less than three minutes remaining Fages took a punt from too far out and it flapped it.

Back came Wigan with a vengeance. Hardaker had his chance to win it with a penalty, but when that fell short Saints spied their chance.

It was a fittingly crazy end, and Welsby’s willingness to chase that ball, epitomised the spirit that has run through this year.

Saints, back to back winners for the first team since 2000, up there with the special teams.

Saints: Coote; Makinson, Naiqama, Welsby, Makinson; Lomax, Fages; Walmsley, Roby, Graham, Taia, Bentley, Knowles. Subs: LMS, Amor, Peyroux, :Lees.