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Salford 4 Widnes Vikings 24
10:25am Saturday 7th September 2013 in Sport
A BRACE of tries apiece from Joe Mellor and Patrick Ah Van saw the Vikings finish the season on a high with a 24-4 win at Salford City Reds.
Just 24 hours earlier, Salford had unveiled a host of signings for 2014 including Gareth Hock, currently on loan with the Vikings.
But if they were planning a party on Friday night, they can consider it well and truly pooped.
If anyone was in the mood for celebrating by the time the final hooter sounded it was Widnes following their third victory on the spin - the first time they've achieved that feat since they rejoined the top flight last year.
And Hock completed his spell at Widnes by slotting over a conversion from wide out with the last kick of the match.
All of Widnes's points came in the second half after a dour first forty minutes which saw both sides struggle to express themselves in slippery conditions.
The City Reds led 4-0 at the break and probably deserved to, having largely dominated field position without ever really looking like breaking Widnes down.
Their try came on 35 minutes when half-back Marc Sneyd followed up winger Jodie Broughton's intelligent chip ahead to score.
After the break, however, it was a very different story.
The Vikings came out showing real purpose following Denis Betts' half-time talk.
Substitute Danny Craven set the tone with a superb raking 40/20 up the left touchline.
With field position established, Mellor took full advantage.
Receiving the ball 20 metres out, he scythed through the Salford defence and rounded the fullback for a fine solo try converted by Jack Owens.
From there on it was Widnes all the way with the kicking game of Kevin Brown causing mayhem in the home defence.
Adam Lawton and Cameron Phelps almost profited before Ah Van did the trick on 63 minutes.
The big winger had the simplest of touchdowns after opposite number Danny Williams made a mess of fielding yet another astute Brown grubber into the in-goal.
Just two minutes later, Lloyd White's kick to the Salford posts looked well covered but the ever alert Mellor snatched the ball from a stunned City Reds defender to score.
Owens added both conversions to make it 18-4.
It was time for Salford to press the panic button and the more they pushed the pass the more handling errors they made.
After several near misses, the Vikings eventually capitalised with the last play of the game when Rhys Hanbury's cut-out pass put Ah Van over in the left corner for his second try of the night.
Cue Hock to finish things off with his first and last goal for the club.
Widnes: Hanbury; Owens, Hulme, Phelps, Ah Van; Brown, Mellor; Kavanagh, White, O'Carroll, Hock, Allen, Leuluai. Subs: Craven, Isa, Lawton, Joseph.
Salford: Gaskell; Williams, Davies, McGoldrick, Broughton; Sneyd, Fages; Griffin, Owen, A Walne, Ashurst, Dixon, Wild. Subs: Hope, Emmitt, James, J Walne.
Referee: T Roby Attendance: 3775