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Ainscough stars in Wigan win
Super League's top try-scorer steals the headlines at Belle Vue
Shaun Ainscough enhanced his growing reputation with four tries in Wigan's 40-26 win at Wakefield on Sunday.
The 19-year-old winger, who was only restored to the Warriors line-up following the withdrawal of George Carmont, raced in for his first Super League hat-trick in the first-half before adding a fourth after the break.
Ainscough's devastating finishing, which took his season tally to 16 tries in just 10 senior appearances, overshadowed the efforts of Danny Brough as the Wildcats twice let slip the lead to lose their Challenge Cup dress rehearsal.
To and fro
Brough created the game's first try for winger Damien Blanch with a trademark kick to the corner and kicked the first of five goals to put his side 6-0 up.
Neither side looked comfortable in defence, though, and Australian utility back Cameron Phelps, switched from full-back to centre in the absence of Carmont, finished Wigan's first try from Tim Smith's pinpoint pass.
He then produced some sublime handling to get Ainscough over twice in nine minutes as the Warriors stole their way into a 16-6 lead.
Brough then took advantage of Wigan's indiscipline to kick a penalty before collecting his first try after winger Scott Grix pounced on a handling error from full-back Pat Richards.
But Wigan substitute Sam Tomkins combined with skipper Sean O'Loughlin to get Ainscough over for his hat-trick on the half hour mark.
Brough intercepted Martin Gleeson's pass to race over from 45 metres for his second try just before the break, though, and the Wildcats went back in front four minutes into the second-half when Blanch exposed Ainscough's frailty under the high ball to collect Brough's high kick and score his second try.
The lead changed hands for a third time when Phelps collect his second try from Smith's grubber kick to and Richards kicked his fourth goal.
The visitors lost hooker Mark Riddell to a hamstring injury before the end, but clinched a fourth successive win over the Wildcats when Gleeson glided in for his second try for the club.
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First Utility Super League Table
|5||Hull K R||0||0|
|7||Salford Red Devils||0||0|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
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