Widnes snatched a dramatic 8-9 victory over Halifax Panthers at The Shay in Round 3 of the Betfred Championship, Matty Smith’s late drop goal adding to an earlier try from Eribe Doro and a penalty goal from Joe Edge to make it three victories from three.
The starting 13 remained unchanged from last week’s victor over Workington, the only two changes to the 17 being Will Tilleke and Lewis Hulme coming in as interchanges in the places of Liam Bent and Joe Lyons.
The game was set for set for the opening 23 minutes, before Matty Smith put a last-tackle kick up high which Eribe Doro jumped highest for to put down under the sticks to open the scoring in favour of the Vikings. Joe Edge duly converted to put Widnes six up.
Ten minutes later, Fax were penalised inside their own 10 for a ball steal on Tyler Dupree. Edge stepped up to take the two for his hometown club and hand the Vikings a 8-0 lead at the break.
The hosts got on the board ten minutes into the second half, after working it out wide to James Saltonstall to put down. Joe Keyes converted to reduce the Widnes lead to two.
Fax pulled level five minutes later with a penalty goal from Joe Keyes after a high tackle from Aaron Brown ten from the Widnes line.
With the game set for a tense final 20 minutes, Matty Smith kicked an early drop goal to edge the Vikings back in front.
It was certainly a tense affair afterwards, with a drop goal attempt missed from the hosts, but the Vikings ultimately stood strong to take the points.
Halifax Panthers: Joe Martin, Zack McComb, Ed Barber, Joe Arundel, James Saltonstall, Cory Aston, Joe Keyes, Adam Tangata, Brandon Moore, Daniel Murray, Ben Kavanagh, Matthew Garside, Kevin Larroyer.
Interchanges: Louis Jouffret, Tendai Gwaze, Jacob Fairbank, Will Calcott.
Tries: James Saltonstall.
Conversions: Joe Keyes (1/1).
Penalty goal: Joe Keyes.
Widnes Vikings: Lloyd Roby, Ryan Ince, Matt Fleming, Joe Edge, Brad Holroyd, Danny Craven, Matty Smith, Kenny Baker, Matty Fozard, Tyler Dupree, Olly Davies, Sam Wilde, Aaron Brown.
Interchanges: Eribe Doro, Will Tilleke, Adam Lawton, Lewis Hulme.
Tries: Eribe Doro.
Conversions: Joe Edge (1/1).
Penalty goal: Joe Edge.
Drop goal: Matty Smith.