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Widnes 15 Sale 8
3:56pm Wednesday 9th January 2013 in Sport
Widnes gave themselves the best possible start to the New Year with victory over promotion favourites Sale at Heath Road.
There was no fluke about this win, as the home side finally exorcised the memory of a last minute defeat at Heywood Road last September – a result which has been gnawing away at them ever since.
The game itself wasn’t the best, but for guts, determination and excitement, Widnes showed that they had enthusiasm in bucket loads to leave their loftier opponents clutching at straws by the end of the game.
Chris Schofield opened Widnes’ account after just five minutes when he chased up a kick from Phil Glover to touch down for a try.
Josh Longmore kicked a penalty for Sale after 17 minutes, before Kevin Leadbetter kicked one for the home side to send them in at the break leading by 8pts – 3.
Sale did everything they could in the second half to get back on level terms, but they just could not break down an outstanding Widnes defence who continually drove them back over the advantage line, leaving them with nowhere to go.
After absorbing a huge amount of pressure as Sale threw caution to the wind, Widnes summoned up enough energy to give it one more go and Paul O’Connor’s persistence paid off as he created enough of a diversion for Harry Varley to collect the ball and cross un-opposed for the match winning try which was converted by Kevin Leadbetter.
Sale did eventually get across the try line in the 80th minute to salvage a losing bonus point, but this was never going to detract from an outstanding Widnes effort and result.