Halifax 17-16 Widnes

Vikings beaten on the hooter


Widnes Vikings fell to an agonising defeat, as a Liam Harris drop-goal moments before the full-time hooter earned Halifax Panthers the points at the Shay.

The visitors took a ten-point lead into the break, however the home side hammered away at their defensive line to claw their way level, before eventually winning the game at the death.

Shane Grady returned to the starting 13 at prop forward, replacing Paul Clough, while Lewis Hulme came in for his first appearance since re-joining the Vikings.

The Vikings opened the scoring after just three minutes, as great pressure from Matty Smith forced Fax to kick the ball out on the full. From the turnover, Joe Lyons spotted the fullback in the defensive line and kicked back on the inside where Jack Owens was on hand to collect possession and score.

Halifax enjoyed a period of pressure on the visitor’s try line following the opening score, as they forced back-to-back goal line drop-outs, but couldn’t find a way through.

As the Widnes resolved showed signs of being broken, a great play from Jayden Hatton extended their lead as he intercepted and raced the length of the field, with an excellent conversion from the touchline making it 12-0.

Deon Cross looked to have added another only for a forward pass to be called against Lloyd Roby as the winger touched down in the right corner.

After another three goal-line drop-outs and a set restart, the Panthers were finally on the scoreboard on 29 minutes as Elliot Morris spun out of a tackle to get the ball down on the try line.

The Widnes line had to absorb some more pressure before the end of the half, but with two minutes of the first 40 left a penalty for a ball steal saw Tyrer add two points from the tee.

From the kick-off, Gadwin Springer was penalised for offside, and Tyrer added another penalty goal from the halfway line as the half-time hooter sounded, making it a 10-point lead.

It took 18 minutes of the second half for the first breakthrough, as Halifax broke from a Danny Craven kick to advance deep into the Widnes half where James Saltonstall won a footrace to ground a grubber in-behind.

The Panthers went back-to-back eight minutes later, as Saltonstall powered over out wide after repeat sets on the Vikings line, with Liam Harris converting from touch to level the scores.

Halifax completed the comeback with 13 seconds of the contest remaining, as they worked their way into position for Harris to knock over the one-pointer and claim the victory.

Halifax Panthers: James Woodburn-Hall, Nick Rawsthorne, Greg Worthington, Zack McComb, James Saltonstall, Liam Harris, Scott Grix, Will Calcott, Brandon Moore, Dan Murray, Matthew Garside, Ben Kavanagh, Adam Tangata.

Interchanges: Amir Bourough, Gadwin Springer, Jacob Fairbank, Elliot Morris.

Tries: Morris, Saltonstall 2 Goals: Harris 2/3 Drop-goal: Harris

Widnes Vikings: Jack Owens, Jayden Hatton, Ste Tyrer, Lloyd Roby, Deon Cross, Danny Craven, Joe Lyons, Shane Grady, Lewis Else, Kenny Baker, Adam Lawton, Josh Wilde, Matty Smith.

Interchanges: Matt Cook, Will Tilleke, Lewis Hulme, Daniel Hill.

Tries: Owens, Hatton Goals: Tyrer 4/4

Halifax Panthers


Widnes Vikings

# Player Position TRY CON PEN DG
11. Jack Owens (C)Fullback1000
1824. Lloyd RobyCentre0000
176. Joe LyonsHalfback0000
2423. Will TillekeInterchange, Prop0000
 Total 1000