A SLOW start cost Huddersfield Giants a first Senior Academy victory of the season as they went down 28-20 to Warrington Wolves at the DRAM Centre.
With vastly-experienced prop Mark Hilton leading the way, the visitors quickly opened up a 10-0 lead and by half-time were 14-6 ahead.
And although the Giants rallied after the break, they were unable to claw back the deficit and were left to reflect on what might have been.
Within two minutes, Warrington had struck, with Andy Moulsdale racing through from 40m.
Then midway through the half, Kevin Penny squeezed in at the corner and Moulsdale converted to make it 10-0.
At that stage it was looking ominous for the hosts.
But in the 26th minute, the Giants opened their account when a neat looping pass from Leroy Cudjoe sent Ashley Johnson racing away to score.
Unfortunately, they failed to build on the momentum and Chris Riley dummied his way over for a converted try on the stroke of half-time to put the Wolves back in command.
It got even worse eight minutes after the restart when Mike Johnson grabbed the Wolves' fourth try.
But that proved to be Huddersfield's wake-up call.
With Super League squad men Simon George and Bolu Fagborun and substitute Matthew Whittaker all putting in solid displays, they began to fight back.
Great work from Chris Clarke enabled Johnson to race in for his second in the 52nd minute and nine minutes later George and Danny Garside combined for Gareth Hull to score.
Garside converted and it was 22-14.
But just when the Giants looked capable of reducing the deficit even further, Steven Roper darted over for a try, again goaled by Moulsdale to extend Warrington's advantage to 14 points.
Good work from George released Clarke to score a try, converted by Garside, with seven minutes remaining.
But the score came too late for the home side, although they can take heart from a much-improved performance on last week's heavy defeat at Leeds.