Widnes tri­umph via a mem­o­rable fight­back

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Theguide -

WIDNES..................................................... 19 DIDS­BURY TOC H ................................... 14

WIDNES made it back-to-back wins af­ter a sen­sa­tional se­cond half come­back against Dids­bury at Heath Road.

You would not have given tup­pence for their chances af­ter a dis­ap­point­ing first pe­riod in which they trailed 14-0.

But, what a trans­for­ma­tion af­ter the break as they pro­duced a much more as­sured and con­trolled team dis­play to even­tu­ally wear down their op­po­nents and get them­selves over the fin­ish­ing line with a late try from Arnie Hay­dock.

For the vis­i­tors, how­ever, they will have been might­ily dis­ap­pointed to have lost their way in that se­cond pe­riod, af­ter a first half dis­play that should, and could, have pro­duced more points, such was their ear­lier dom­i­nance.

But, points mean prizes, and the home side can­not have done any more that se­cure a valu­able first home league win of the cam­paign at the start of a crit­i­cal phase that may well de­fine the re­main­der of their sea­son.

As kick-off time ap­proached, the per­sis­tent and of­ten heavy overnight rain, had fi­nally given way to pleas­ant blue skies and sun­shine, mean­ing that con­di­tions were al­most per­fect for the game.

Although Widnes had the early pos­ses­sion, it was Dids­bury’s ex­tra pace that al­most saw them take the lead fol­low­ing an ex­cit­ing kick-and-chase af­ter a Widnes break­down in mid­field.

That should have acted as a warn­ing for the home side, but they failed to take heed and some more quick think­ing led to stand-off Seb Sher­atte scor­ing a try close enough to the posts for Rory Gibson to add the con­ver­sion.

Show­ing the kind of form that had seen them blow away most of their op­po­nents so far, Dids­bury looked a yard or two quicker in thought and deed.

And fol­low­ing an­other light­ning break on 20 min­utes, the vis­i­tors scored a se­cond try through Mark Har­ri­son which was again con­verted to make it 14-0.

Back came Widnes from the restart as Gavin Hat­ton and Will Pa­tient com­bined to get them close, but at this point it was Dids­bury who were com­fort­ably deal­ing with any­thing that the home side were able to throw at them in an ef­fort to reestab­lish a foothold in the con­test.

An in­jury to Hat­ton then held up play for a few min­utes be­fore a spec­u­la­tive up-and-un­der from Andy Owens caused a few anx­ious mo­ments in the Dids­bury de­fence be­fore the dan­ger was fi­nally dealt with.

And, that was how things re­mained with no fur­ther ad­di­tions to the score­board be­fore the in­ter­val was reached. ●

Dur­ing the half-time break, Widnes were forced to re­place Matty Walker who ap­peared to suf­fer a painful thumb in­jury that forced him to with­draw from pro­ceed­ings.

There were also se­cond half ap­pear­ances from Adam Law­ton in the cen­tre, Joe Gal­loway and Mike Gar­rity who was mak­ing his bow this sea­son.

Im­me­di­ately, Widnes looked to have a bit more vim and vigour as the se­cond pe­riod got un­der­way, and a long-range touch-fin­der from Kevin Lead­bet­ter earned them some de­cent field po­si­tion.

In­deed, af­ter both Adam Law­ton and Jamie Pa­tient had gone close, the pack – and Hay­dock in par­tic­u­lar – de­cided to take mat­ters into their own hands for the big No.8 to crash over in trade­mark style for his fourth five-pointer of the cam­paign. With full-back Owens adding a fine touch­line con­ver­sion, it was game on again at 14-7.

From there, and in the face of a much more de­ter­mined Widnes ef­fort, it seemed that Dids­bury be­gan to suf­fer from some sort of cri­sis of con­fi­dence and they spent much of the re­main­der of the game penned deep in their own half with only the oc­ca­sional of­fer­ing on at­tack.

Sens­ing that there was still more to come, Widnes con­tin­ued to press home their ad­van­tage and even­tu­ally on 65 min­utes, more for­ward pres­sure even­tu­ally led to smart quick hands and a bul­let like pass to James But­ler out wide, saw the wing race clear and in at the cor­ner for a try.

Although still be­hind on the score­board, the home side con­tin­ued to seek out that fi­nal win­ning score.

But, they had to re­main con­stantly on their guard as Dids­bury al­ways looked ca­pa­ble of break­ing free of their de­fen­sives shack­les – al­beit against the run of play – if the home side were to switch off even for a mo­ment.

As it was, that par­tic­u­lar threat did not re­ally emerge, and in the end it all looked so easy as a wide, yawn­ing gap, sud­denly opened up in the vis­i­tors’ de­fence al­low­ing Hay­dock to col­lect and stroll over for what even­tu­ally turned out to be the match-win­ner.

There was still time, though, for Dids­bury to throw ev­ery­thing but the kitchen sink at the Wids in an ef­fort to get back into the con­test.

In the very last minute there was a fran­tic kick-and-chase be­hind the Widnes rear­guard be­fore a timely clear­ance from Owens which fi­nally brought an end to pro­ceed­ings.

Owens just about edged it as the manof-the-match just ahead of Hay­dock who now goes to the top of the tryscor­ing chart af­ter his dou­ble.

In the fi­nal as­sess­ment, this was a cru­cial vic­tory for the home side who now have back-to-back wins un­der their belt, and which gives them a great chance now to re-ig­nite their sea­son af­ter what has been a slow start so far. ● The sec­onds and thirds were both in cup ac­tion and suf­fered mixed re­sults. The sec­onds were able to see off the chal­lenge of Colne & Nel­son at home to progress into the next round, but the thirds came up against a strong Hope Val­ley side to crash out at the first hur­dle. ● The first-team take a wel­come break from league ac­tion on Satur­day, but in­stead will take on Ald­wini­ans at home in the newly-cre­ated League Cup.

This is the first of three pool games, with the top two join­ing the win­ners of the two other groups to form the four semi-fi­nal­ists.

Like Widnes, Ald­wini­ans have made some­thing of a slug­gish start in the ADM Premier League so far and are cur­rently sev­enth, but are just three points be­hind the Red-and-Blacks.

Their only win came in a nar­row 25-24 win against bot­tom side Lit­tle­bor­ough three weeks ago, but the other games have pro­duced some nar­row de­feats when they could eas­ily have gone the other way.

It all means that Widnes are go­ing to have to be re­ally switched on for this game if they have am­bi­tions to make fur­ther progress in this com­pe­ti­tion, as well as mak­ing it three wins from three to go with suc­ces­sive home wins for the first time this sea­son

In the other matches, the sec­onds go to North­wich, whilst the thirds are at home to Wa­ter­loo in Di­vi­sion Four West.

All games will kick-off at 3pm.

Michael Tyrells

Widnes No.8 Arnie Hay­dock pow­ers to­wards the Dids­bury Toc H try­line.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.