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by neil dowson

Warrington were one of the 22 original founders of the Northern Union in 1895.  The club’s first match under Northern Union rules was a 5-4 defeat of Hunslet at the ground on Wilderspool Road, on 7 September 1895.  The first ever try scorer was stand-off J. Foden.  A further 11,855 tries have been scored by 717 different Warrington players since that first try.  The majority of the Club’s try scoring records are held by the World’s greatest ever try scorer, Brian Bevan.

Warrington’s first match at Wilderspool Stadium was a 3-3 draw with Swinton on 3 September 1898, and the first try scorer was stand off Robert Bate.

The first player to score 10 or more tries in a season was Jack Fish, who crossed for 16 tries in the 1899/1900 season.  They included the first ever hat-trick of tries when Fish scored 3 tries, in a 14-6 victory at Leigh on 3 December 1899.  On 24 March 1900 Fish extended his tries in a match record to five, in a 44-0 win over Goole in the Challenge Cup, for good measure he also kicked 7 goals.

The following season Fish increased his tries in a season record to 22.  Ernie Brookes scored 26 tries in the 1906/7 season, despite not scoring a try in any of the last 12 matches of the season.   Two season’s later Fish equal this record of 26 tries in a season, before extending the record to 28 in the 1909/10 seaon.

On 21 March 1904, Jack Fish became the first Warrington player to score 100 tries for the club when he crossed for the only try in a 5-0 win over St Helens at Wilderspool Stadium.  Five years later on 13 November 1909 Fish’s third try of four against Merthr Tydvil was his 200th for the club. 

Forward George Thomas equalled Fish’s 5 tries in a match in a 78-6 win over St Helens on 12 April 1909.

In January 1929 centre Billy Dingsdale scored four tries in a match against Bradford Northern twice within a fortnight, firstly in a 35-7 victory at Bradford and then a 65-0 win at Wilderspool.  Dingsdale finished the season equalling the record of 28 tries in a season.

The 1932/3 season saw Warrington scoring 160 tries, in winning the Lancashire Cup and reaching Wembley for the first time.  Winger Steve Ray increased the tries in a season record to 33 and left winger Tommy ”Tubby” Thompson crossed six times against Bradford Northern on 6 April 1933.

On 29 April 1939 Izzy Davies scored a try against Oldham in the final match of the seaon to set a new record of 34 tries in a season.

After the Second World War Brian Bevan dominated the try scoring records.  In his first season, 1946/7 he smashed the tries in a season record with 48.  He extended this record a further three times, in 1947/8 to 57, 1950/1 to 60 and in 1952/3 to 66.  Bevan scored an amazing 740 tries for Warrington, in 620 matches, this is 525 more than Jack Fish’s 215 who is second on the list.  Bevan’s all time career record of 796 tries is 225 tries more than second placed Bill Boston’s 571 career tries.

Brian Bevan was Warrington’s top try scoring in 14 of his 16 season’s at the club.  He also finished top rugby league try scorer in five seasons and in the top 5 in a further 9 seasons.  Bevan scored three of more tries in a match for Warrington 98 times.  His best being 7 on two occasions.  The first being against Leigh on 29 March 1948 and he repeated the feat on 22 April 1953 against Bramley.  He also scored six in a match 4 times.

Whilst Brian Bevan is the only player to score 40 or more tries in a season, forward Bob Eccles has the next most with 37 scored in the 1982/3 season.  Eccles equalled the record of 5 tries in a match for a forward in a 36-15 win over Blackpool on 12 December 1982.  In the summer of 1983 the value of a try was increased from 3 points to 4.  On 21 August 1983 Paul Fellows scored the first Warrington four point try in a 22-22 draw against Hull at The Boulevard.

Sid Domic scored the final Super League try at Wilderspool Stadium in a 52-12 win over Wakefield Trinity Wildcats on 21 September 2003.  Jamie Durbin scored the final Warrington try in a 28-26 win over New Zealand “A” in the last official match at Wilderspool on 26 October 2003.  Nathan Wood scored the first try at The Halliwell Jones Stadium, on 21 February 2004, as the Wolves beat the Wildcats 34-20. 

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