Widnes too strong for Ald­wini­ans once more

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Theguide -

WIDNES..................................................... 28 ALD­WINI­ANS........................................... 17

WIDNES beat Ald­wini­ans for the sec­ond time in three weeks to main­tain their un­beaten run which now stretches to six games.

And, it gives them a huge psy­cho­log­i­cal ad­van­tage, when the two go head-to­head again in Satur­day’s Lan­cashire Tro­phy semi-fi­nal.

This was a real top notch per­for­mance from the home side, who turned in their best de­fen­sive dis­play of the sea­son, be­fore hit­ting their op­po­nents where it re­ally hurt – on the score­board – as they turned de­fence into at­tack to score four out­stand­ing tries.

The vis­i­tors, on the other hand, will have been left won­der­ing how on earth they man­aged to lose the game, de­spite hav­ing most of the field po­si­tion as well as 70% of the pos­ses­sion.

All in all then, it all sets the scene nicely for this week­end’s third en­counter be­tween the pair in a ‘win­ner takes all’ cup game at Au­den­shaw Park.

Un­der dark, leaden skies and a strong blus­tery wind to con­tend with, Kevin Lead­bet­ter got this ADM Premier League fix­ture un­der­way, but it was not long be­fore the vis­i­tors were quickly into their stride be­fore con­vert­ing a fifth minute penalty from Tom Hughes to take an early lead.

That early pres­sure con­tin­ued deep in the Widnes quar­ter of the field, and the home side had to be at their very best in de­fence to deny their op­po­nents a tryscor­ing op­por­tu­nity.

At this point, the home side con­tin­ued to be ‘out-en­thused’ by their Manch­ester op­po­nents forc­ing the Red-and-Blacks to live off just scraps of pos­ses­sion.

As the half-hour mark ap­proached Widnes fi­nally re­ceived a wel­come re­liev­ing penalty which al­lowed them to camp out close to their op­po­nents’ line.

There may have been a touch of luck as Widnes wres­tled back pos­ses­sion, but none of that both­ered arch preda­tor and top tryscorer, Arnie Hay­dock who crashed over from close-range for an­other of his trade­mark tries.

With full-back Andy Owens also add- ● ing the con­ver­sion from wide out, the home XV now held a 7-3 ad­van­tage.

Things po­ten­tially took a turn for the worse, though, just a few min­utes later as a Widnes player then re­ceived a yel­low card.

Their sit­u­a­tion was not helped ei­ther by an in­jury to Liam Law­ton which forced the cen­tre to leave the field – all of which meant a ma­jor re-shuf­fle of per­son­nel in the run up to half-time.

Ald­wini­ans used the op­por­tu­nity to try to ram home their numer­i­cal ad­van­tage as they looked to get their noses back in front once again.

But some­how, it was the home side that were sud­denly able to break free of their de­fen­sive shack­les through manof-the-match Ryan Milling­ton, be­fore Josh Kenyon’s deft chip over the top was swooped upon by Owens who touched down.

If that was not bad enough for the vis­i­tors, the same player then booted over an­other out­stand­ing con­ver­sion from wide out to send his team in at the break lead­ing by 14-3.

The try was a real sick­ener for the vis­i­tors, and they needed a re­ally pos­i­tive start to the sec­ond stanza if they had am­bi­tions to res­cue any­thing from the game. In­deed, that came af­ter just 10 min­utes as Michael Sin­gle­ton crashed over for a try which was con­verted by full-back Hughes.

At 14-10, the fi­nal out­come of this game was back in the melt­ing pot once again.

This time, though, it was the home side’s turn to show their bot­tle, as they turned de­fence into at­tack once more in a blind side move that saw some ex­cel­lent han­dling end with a su­perb try from Milling­ton. Owens was again on tar­get with the ex­tras as nor­mal ser­vice was re­sumed.

Shortly af­ter­wards, more quick, crisp han­dling in­volv­ing both backs and for­wards, ended with Kevin Lead­bet­ter hand­ing on to that man Owens who was in sup­port to score his sec­ond try of the af­ter­noon be­fore again tack­ing on the dif­fi­cult con­ver­sion.

At 28-10, it was all but game over, but there was still time for the of­fi­cial to award the vis­i­tors a penalty try which re­duced the deficit to 11 points.

The last few min­utes were all a bit scrappy as the ref­eree awarded a hand­ful of penal­ties to the away team. But, there was to be no fairy­tale fin­ish, and no fur­ther ad­di­tions to the score­board as the home side went on to claim a sixth suc­ces­sive vic­tory. ● There were con­trast­ing emo­tions for the other se­nior teams. The sec­onds went down to Liver­pool Col­le­giate who booted over a last gasp penalty to claim the spoils in Di­vi­sion Two South. The thirds, mean­while, earned a real feather in their cap, as they beat Wal­lasey’s first­team in Di­vi­sion Four West of the Hal­bro League. ● To coin an Alan Patridge phrase, it is a case of ‘know­ing me, know­ing you’, as Widnes and Ald­wini­ans meet for the sec­ond week in a row – and the third time this sea­son – in Satur­day’s crunch semi-fi­nal of the Lan­cashire Plate.

Cur­rently, the ag­gre­gate score is 2-0 to the Wids, but this game will be any­thing but a walkover as the Red-and-Blacks at­tempt to reach the fi­nal of a com­pe­ti­tion they won back in 2012.

De­spite los­ing again, the host team looked a much im­proved out­fit last week­end, and it was easy to see how they had man­aged to turn over for­mer league lead­ers Old­ham the pre­vi­ous Satur­day.

Widnes, though, should have noth­ing to fear, and with sev­eral play­ers due to re­turn af­ter miss­ing the last game to add some depth to their squad, they will head off to Au­den­shaw Park in con­fi­dent mood. The game kicks-off at 2.15pm. ●

Ian Moss

Antony Lead­bet­ter at­tempts to find a way through the Ald­wini­ans’ de­fen­sive line.

Michael Tyrells

Widnes’s man-of-the-match Ryan Milling­ton races in for a five-pointer against Ald­wini­ans.

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