McIn­tosh de­lighted as Wids make it per­fect 10

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - In Business -

LIT­TLE­BOR­OUGH ................................... 17 WIDNES..................................................... 31

WIDNES se­cured their 10th straight win in all com­pe­ti­tions to move them­selves into fourth place in what is be­com­ing an ul­tra-com­pet­i­tive ADM Pre­mier Di­vi­sion.

They were more than good value for the vic­tory, but they were pushed all the way by a Lit­tle­bor­ough side who ral­lied late in the piece to score two tries de­spite the re­sult hav­ing been con­firmed much ear­lier.

And, whilst the vis­i­tors may not have been at their clin­i­cal best – the filthy con­di­tions de­ter­min­ing that this was never go­ing to be a clas­sic – they did enough to se­cure a bonus point win away from home which is all any­one can ask for.

In the wet and dif­fi­cult con­di­tions un­der dark, leaden skies, Widnes got the game un­der­way and their de­fence was soon called into ur­gent ac­tion as Lit­tle­bor­ough piled on some early pres­sure.

Suc­ces­sive penal­ties got the home side within reach, the sec­ond of which al­lowed stand-off Richard Tay­lor to kick his team into the lead.

For­tu­nately, Widnes were quickly in the mood to re­spond, and when the home side booted the ball out on the full, Tom O’Neill was on hand to pick up from the base of the scrum and crash over for a try which was con­verted by Kevin Lead­bet­ter.

Dis­play­ing the kind of con­fi­dence that has seen them win all nine pre­vi­ous matches, the vis­i­tors were soon at it again.

This time, a long-range touch-fin­der en­abled quick hands to re­lease full-back Antony Lead­bet­ter, who swiv­elled his way over the line for a try that gave his team a 12-3 ad­van­tage.

Lit­tle­bor­ough then spoilt a great op­por­tu­nity as they fol­lowed up an ex­cit­ing kick-and-chase be­fore ob­struct­ing a Widnes player as he at­tempted to re­trieve the sit­u­a­tion.

From there, Widnes were able to turn de­fence into at­tack, and Kevin Lead­bet­ter’s deft chip ahead had the ‘ Boro de­fence in trou­ble as they were forced to touch down posses­sion be­hind their own line.

From there, the Red-and-Blacks were able to turn the screw once more, as Matty Lawton crashed over the line for a try from close-range to in­crease their ad­van­tage to 14 points.

Lit­tle­bor­ough did their best to re­spond, but time and again they were un­able to find a way through the well- mar­shalled Widnes de­fence.

The re­main­der of the half was all a bit scrappy in the dif­fi­cult con­di­tions.

Both teams had op­por­tu­ni­ties, but a few poor choices mixed in with any num­ber of han­dling er­rors and poor kicks out of hand, meant there was no fur­ther ad­di­tion to the score­board as the half came to a close.

The sec­ond pe­riod be­gan brightly for ‘Boro and they were soon camped out in the Widnes quar­ter once again, but they were sim­ply un­able to find a way through some wa­ter­tight de­fence and an in­abil­ity to keep hold of the greasy ball in con­tact.

A spot of hand­bags then earned both cap­tains a stiff talk­ing to from the ref­eree be­fore nor­mal ser­vice was re­sumed.

At this point, it was be­gin­ning to look like Widnes were happy to set­tle for what they had, but on 58 min­utes, the huff­ing and puff­ing stopped long enough for some crisp han­dling to send Tom Spencer on a 30 me­tre dash to the line for a bonus point try which was con­verted by Kevin Lead­bet­ter.

Barely three min­utes later, the ex­cel­lent O’Neill – who was busy all af­ter­noon in both at­tack and de­fence – made a mid­field break be­fore hand­ing on to team­mate Ryan Milling­ton who scored un­der­neath the posts. With Kevin Lead­bet­ter again on tar­get, the score had sud- ● ● denly moved on to 31-3.

Af­ter that, and with the re­sult as­sured, it all be­gan to go a bit pear shaped for the vis­i­tors.

Al­most straight away they had a player sent to the sin-bin, and mo­ments later a sec­ond player was in­vited to warm his heels on the touch­line by the of­fi­cial.

With a two-player ad­van­tage, it was hardly sur­pris­ing that the Wids de­fence was fi­nally breached in the 77th minute as the home side went over for a con­verted try, be­fore they were able to re­peat the dose deep into stop­page-time with a sec­ond score which rounded off pro­ceed­ings.

Speak­ing af­ter the game, Widnes head coach, Andy McIn­tosh, said: “We are very pleased to get the vic­tory.

“Our de­fence was very good and we man­aged the game well in the dif­fi­cult con­di­tions.

“We had a few stand­out per­form­ers in the pack and we fin­ished our chances off well.”

He added: “We were dis­ap­pointed to con­ceded two late tries when we had men in the bin, but it is an­other five points. We aim to keep build­ing and play­ing to the plan.” ● In the other se­nior fix­ture, the sec­onds earned them­selves a 7-7 draw with high­fly­ing Ch­ester at Heath Road.

Widnes player Jamie Pa­tient is hauled down by two Lit­tle­bor­ough de­fend­ers dur­ing last Satur­day’s game.

Michael Tyrells

Full-back Antony Lead­bet­ter on the charge for Widnes dur­ing their win against Lit­tle­bor­ough.

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