Liverpool St Helens 17 New Brighton 21

THIS Merseyside derby lived up to all expectations with the result in doubt right up to the final whistle.

A last-gasp injury time try saved the league leaders' blushes and foiled a brave display from a young LSH side who just ran out of steam in the final stages.

Both sides started at a frantic pace and in the first home attack a certain score was intercepted by the speedy Paul Brett, who raced the length of the pitch to give the visitors a 5-0 lead.

The sizeable crowd from over the Mersey settled back for more of the same but they were to be disappointed. After some uncompromising exchanges LSH gradually took control and after a Worsley penalty the home side were rewarded with two tries.

Good work from Darren Crilly led to Sean Casey powering over from 25 yards with 22 minutes gone. And five minutes later Casey became the provider, linking with Chris Walker who outpaced the New Brighton defence to score behind the posts. Worsley converted both tries to give LSH a 17-5 lead at half-time with New Brighton redcued to 14 men following the dismissal of lock forward Nick Allott just before the break.

Paul Brett kicked an early second-half penalty for the visitors to reduce the deficit to 17-8. Then both Kennaghan and Dan Jones went close for LSH before Brett kicked two more penalties to make it 17-14.

With time running out the visitors opted to run a penalty rather than go for goal and from the resulting line-out their pack bulldozed across the line for number eight Bellis to score. Brett's conversion signalled the final whistle and the end of a tough derby encounter.

New Brighton left Moss Lane with two points and a huge sigh of relief while LSH supporters had once again seen once again the significant improvement of Eric Hughes' young side.

There is a break from National League action this weekend with the club having a Lancashire Cup tie against Widnes on Sunday.