WIDNES were given the best possible chance of reaching their first Challenge Cup semi final since 1996 after being paired with Championship side Keighley.

They avoided big guns Warrington, Leeds and Wigan in Monday’s quarter-final draw.

The only down side to the draw means that it is likely that Vikings will have to slay one of the teams that have dominated the knockout finals for the past six years to reach Wembley.

But Vikings have a chance – and at least the dream of getting to Wembley for the first time since 1993 is still alive for the fans.

Assistant coach Mick Cassidy said: “Obviously we are delighted to not get one of the strongest teams left in the competition.

“But Keighley are going to come here all guns firing – and as happens when a Super League team meets a Championship side, they will be going all out to reach the semi final.

“They are a well drilled Championship side.

“It is good for our fans to get a sense that something could happen in the Challenge Cup.

“In last two years we have had to concentrate on league position and keep our heads above water, this year we can put more emphasis on the cup. If a little bit of luck goes our way, who knows what can happen?”

The quarter final takes place on the weekend of June 7/8.

Meanwhile Vikings’ attention switches back to the Super League with a long trek to Hull KR on Sunday.

Vikings have not enjoyed their previous two trips to east Hull, losing 44-18 last season.

“Any team going there is up against it, but we can be confident and can certainly defend and take that cup confidence into the game,” Cassidy said.