REPORT: BULLDOGS BATTLE TO VICTORY OVER LIONS
3 days ago
Tries from Mitch Cox and Frankie Halton weren't enough in a second half comeback as Batley took the points at Mount Pleasant.
02 September 2019
On the last away game of the campaign, the Lions travelled to the Halton Stadium where the Vikings took the victory with just eight-points difference.
The Lions travelled to Halton Stadium for the penultimate game of the season, and it was the hosts who took the victory despite a threatening late comeback.
Widnes Vikings got back on the winning track to finish their home campaign in style but were made to fight all the way for the points by a dogged display from the Lions.
The Vikings had three good chances in the opening ten minutes when Dan Norman was held up in virtually the first attack and Lloyd Roby had a couple of chances from Danny Craven kicks, but the Lions tried to hit back and a great piece of play by Matty Ashton who was reverse passing with Craig Mullen which almost saw the fullback score in the right corner.
Vikings eventually took the lead on twenty minutes when fast hands saw Keanan Brand score on the left but Jack Owens could not convert in the strong wind, and three minutes later they stretched the lead when Patrick Ah Van crashed over in the corner but again no conversion.
Owens nearly added a third a few minutes later only to be held up by Gavin Bennion. The Lions then hit back when some good passing saw Mike Butt speed past Anthony Gelling to score in the corner but Jack Hansen could not convert and three minutes later an interchange of passes between Ashton and Samy Kibula saw Kibula race in by the posts and Hansen converted this one to put the Lions ahead.
Gelling could have put his side back in front from the restart when he collected the ball and raced towards the line to feed Ted Chapelhow who was held up over the line but the Lions went in with the slender lead at the break at 10-8.
There was another handling error from the Lions at the kick off for the second half which put Vikings back on the front foot and within three minutes they were over again when Roby raced in on the right but again no conversion. Ah Van then added his second on forty-nine minutes when he wrong footed Kibula to score on the left and Owens landed his first conversion of the match to give his side an eight point advantage and then Owens himself scored after a good passing movement to which he added the conversion and the writing seemed to be on the wall for the Lions but their never say die attitude paid off when Hansen charged down a Craven kick in his own ten metres and he regathered the ball to race away and score under the posts and added the conversion.
Vikings bounced back again and it was man on the match Chris Dean that crashed over by the posts on sixty-seven minutes with Owens adding the conversion, and three minutes later Josh Ganson dived over under the posts and Dean slotted over the conversion from in front.
The Lions were not finished and some good pressure on the Vikings line saw Nick Gregson go over on the right and Hansen converted. Try of the match came with two minutes and left when Rob Fairclough chipped a kick over the Vikings defence from a scrum in his own ten and Ashton who was chasing hacked the ball on twice in his eighty metre run for the line and it bounced up nicely for him ten metres out to score by the posts and Hansen converted.
Full time: Widnes Vikings 36-28 Swinton Lions
Ian Rigg reporting from Halton Stadium.
Vikings: Owens, Roby, Gelling, Brand, Ah Van, Craven, Lyons, J.Chapelhow, Ganson, Norman, Wilde, Dean, Robson.
Subs: T.Chapelhow, Dugdale, Cahill, Walker.
Tries: Brand (20′), Ah Van (23′,49′), Roby (43′), Owens (53′),Dean (67′), Ganson (70′)
Goals: Owens 3/6, Dean 1/1
Lions: Ashton, Butt, Lloyd, Mullen, Lepori, Hansen, Fairclough, Bennion, Brickhill, Hatton, Halton, Wells, P.Jones.
Subs: Morris, Grehson, Kenga, Kibula
Tries: Butt (32′), Kibula (35′), Hansen (56′), Gregson (74′), Ashton (78′)
Goals: Hansen 4/5
HT: 8-10 FT: 36-28
Referee: Greg Dolan
Photo credits: Pete Green & Emily Parker