Widnes Vikings picked up their second away victory of the season to make it back-to-back wins after battling past Bradford Bulls at Odsal on Sunday.
Paul Clough marked his 350th career appearance with a victory, while Joe Lyons also enjoyed a milestone as he made his 50th outing for the Vikings.
It was an arm-wrestle of a contest which the away side managed to get the better of, with some brilliant game management from Matty Smith and some great goal-line defence combined with superb attacking play up the other end of the field.
The Vikings opened the scoring after seven minutes, as a high tackle on Kenny Baker advanced the visitors up the field where Lewis Else showed great vision to jump from dummy half and score from 20 metres out.
Widnes had to withstand a period of pressure on their own line, as Bradford enjoyed back-to-back sets on their opponents’ line but couldn’t find a way through.
After defending their line well, the away side extended their lead when Adam Lawton came up with a break inside the Bulls’ half before handing on possession to Deon Cross who raced over the whitewash.
The hosts finally found a breakthrough on the half hour mark, as back-to-back penalties led to Anthony Walker crashing over from close range to break the Bradford deadlock.
With four minutes of the half remaining Widnes hit back, as Matty Smith hung a kick up to the corner where Jayden Hatton rose highest for a superb effort in the corner.
Ste Tyrer made no mistakes with the touchline conversion before Smith added a field goal to give Widnes a 13-point lead at the break.
Within three minutes of the restart the Bulls closed the deficit, as a cut out ball from dummy half sent Ebon Scurr through a hole in the defence to score from close range.
It only took five minutes for a response though, as Adam Lawton continued his brilliant try scoring run when he once again proved too big and too strong from close range.
Bradford looked to have found a breakthrough again on the hour mark, but as Ross Oakes stretched out to ground the ball the Vikings defence did enough to force him to knock on over the line.
Another great piece of defence kept the Widnes line in-tact when Joe Burton looked to dive over in the corner, as Danny Craven’s cover tackle forced the ball free to save a certain try.
The Vikings did enough to see out the remainder of the game, with the only other scare coming as Burton dropped the ball over the line again from Lilley’s kick.
Bradford Bulls: Brandon Pickersgill, Joe Burton, Rhys Evans, Ross Oakes, Joe Brown, Billy Jowitt, Jordan Lilley, Dan Fleming, Sam Hallas, Steve Crossley, Brad Gallagher, Aaron Murphy, Ben Evans.
Interchanges: Adam Rooks, Brad England, Ebon Scurr, Anthony Walker.
Tries: Walker, Scurr Goals: Lilley 2/2
Widnes Vikings: Jack Owens, Jayden Hatton, Ste Tyrer, Lloyd Roby, Deon Cross, Danny Craven, Joe Lyons, Kenny Baker, Lewis Else, Paul Clough, Josh Wilde, Adam Lawton, Matty Smith.
Interchanges: Matt Cook, Will Tilleke, Owen Buckley, Oliver Brookes.
Tries: Else, Cross, Hatton, Lawton Goals: Tyrer 4/4 Drop-Goal: Smith