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WIdnes Vikings 30 Salford Red Devils 24
8:59pm Saturday 17th May 2014 in Sport
WIDNES made it a hat-trick of wins over Salford this season with a dramatic 30-24 victory at the Etihad Stadium.
Paddy Flynn's second try two minutes from time seemed to have finally sealed a see-saw match but even then the Red Devils gave themselves a chance by regaining the ball from the restart.
Fortunately, time was on the Vikings' side and the hooter was greeted by the cheering Widnes fans.
Denis Betts' team deserved their triumph which they achieved despite picking up multiple injuries during the game.
Danny Craven, Jon Clarke and Macgraff Leuluai all left the field and were unable to return with Betts forced to have a radical reshuffle.
The Vikings' injury woes began in the very first minute when scrum-half Craven took a knock to the head as he attempted to tackle ex-Viking Gareth Hock.
Still, it didn't stop Widnes taking an early lead when the excellent Kevin Brown found Flynn with a long pass so he could squeeze past Francis Meli wide out.
Salford, who contributed plenty to the match, hit back to take the lead on 16 minutes when centre Junior Sa'u powered through a Rhys Hanbury tackle with Jake Mullaney converting.
The Red Devils doubled their score when Rangi Chase bamboozled Hanbury on a jinking 40 metre run to the posts.
Another superb Brown pass put left wing Jack Owens in for a walkover to pull four points back on 23 minutes and five minutes later Hanbury's short ball sent Chris Dean crashing in to level things up at 12-12.
That's the way it stayed until half-time but Salford came out firing after the break.
Matty Ashurst capitalised on a Harrison Hansen break to regain the lead for his side but White followed up a Hanbury ricocheted kick and dived under the posts to continue the see-saw scoring.
Danny Tickle's first successful conversion of the game gave Widnes a two-point lead but it didn't last long.
A dropped ball was scooped up by Red Devils flyer Danny Williams who scythed through to score.
On 57 minutes, Hanbury registered a brilliant individual try to put Widnes back in the ascendancy.
A massive Leuluai hit on Salford prop Lama Tasi jolted the ball free under the shadow of the Widnes posts and Hanbury leapt into action.
The Australian fullback pinned his ears back on a dramatic 90 metre diagonal run to the far left corner.
Tickle's excellent conversion made it 24-20 in the Vikings favour.
The lead was augmented by a further two points with a simple Tickle penalty but still the Red Devils wouldn't lie down.
With six minutes remaining, Meli forced his way over wide out to narrow the lead to two points.
But it was the Vikings, through Flynn, who had the last word.
Widnes: Hanbury; Flynn, Dean, Marsh, Owens; Brown, Craven; Kavanagh, Clarke, Joseph, Allen, Gerrard. Subs: White, Leuluai, Isa, Johnson.
Salford: Eden; Williams, Gleeson, Sa'u, Meli; Chase, Mullaney; Griffin, Tomkins, Tasi, Hansen, Hock Puletua. Subs: Morley, Rapira, Howarth, Ashurst.
Referee: T Roby
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