Widnes Vikings battled back in the second half to claim a hard-fought 20-4 victory over Barrow Raiders on Sunday afternoon.
The first half was a tough and tight affair at the Matt Johnson Prestige Stadium, with both sides rarely threatening the other’s line.
The Vikings created a couple of half-chances with ball-in-hand, but could not make it count. The first came as Jack Owens created space on the Vikings’ right edge with a try looking likely, but Gelling’s tap on to Ince was off and the ball rolled into touch.
The second came on the opposite side of the field, with Jack Owens the orchestrator again, but his pass out to Buckley was behind the winger and the ball went into touch once more.
The only points of the first half were from the boot of Barrow half-back Jamie Dallimore, converting two penalties with the wind behind him in the 14th and 33rd minute. The Raiders headed into the break with a slight advantage in Cumbria.
The Vikings started the second half strongly, and grabbed the first try of the afternoon as Danny Craven touched down. Danny’s kick on the last was deflected into the path of half back partner Gilmore. Tom prodded the ball forward and Craven was the quickest of all to get to the loose ball to touch down. Tom Gilmore converted the try.
The away side extended their lead just a few minutes later as Cumbrian, Brad Walker crossed for his third try of the year. Danny Craven fired a 40/20 to put the Vikings into position, and Gilmore hit Walker with a short ball at the line to score on his return to his hometown club. Tom Gilmore missed the conversion from the right edge.
Following Walker’s try, the next 15 minutes saw both teams going set-for-set with the tough weather and pitch conditions taking it’s toll.
On the back of a repeat set, Ryan Ince was the next player to touch down with a traditional acrobatic score. The Vikings were setting up for a drop goal through Danny Craven, but with Craven closed down, the ball was shifted right and ended with Owens feeding Ince to finish superbly with a diving finish. Tom Gilmore missed the touchline conversion.
Ryan Ince turned from try-scorer to try-saver shortly after his score as Barrow took control of possession from the short kick-off. The Raiders moved the ball to their left out to Deon Cross, but Ryan Ince superbly got back to force the Barrow man into touch. That was the last memorable attacking moment for Barrow, as the Vikings kept their opponents try-less.
The win was then sealed with five minutes to go as captain Hep Cahill muscled over from close range. Following repeat sets on the Barrow line, Cahill hit a flat pass from dummy half and touched down. Tom Gilmore converted to seal a hard-fought victory for Kieron Purtill’s men, and moves the Vikings on to -4 points in the Betfred Championship.