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Wakefield 12 Widnes Vikings 10
10:08am Friday 11th July 2014 in Sport
WIDNES found a Wakefield Trinity Wildcats team in determined mood at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium as they went down 12-10 to James Webster's men.
The Vikings will look back at the huge amount of possession they had and wonder how they only managed to score two tries.
They will also refelect on a couple of key moments that had a massive bearing on the outcome.
The first came after Widnes's 18th minute try as Danny Tickle missed what, by his own standards, was a relatively simple conversion.
The second came early in the second period when Patrick Ah Van intercepted and raced the length of the field only to be caught inches from the tryline by the chasing Jimmy Keinhorst.
It was one of those nights for Denis Betts' men.
Widnes started the first half on the front foot and pretty much remained there for the rest of the opening period.
Wakefield rarely seemed to be able to get their hands on possession and when they did they coughed it up far too easily.
The consequence was a crick in the neck for everybody watching as Widnes laid siege to the home line.
But credit to the Wildcats, they defended resolutely and somehow managed to keep the Vikings out until the 18th minute when Tickle crashed over from a Joe Mellor short ball but couldn't add the extras.
Only towards the back end of the half did Wakefield mount any pressure on the Widnes line and they looked certain scorers as winger Richard Owen found space on the right.
However, he reckoned without Vikings fullback Rhys Hanbury who made a superb cover tackle at the corner.
When the hooter sounded to end the first 40 minutes, Widnes must have had mixed feelings.
They will have been delighted to have had the vast majority of possession and field position, but frustrated they couldn't register more than a solitary try.
The Wildcats enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges of the second half but it was Widnes who missed the best opportunity as Ah Van just didn't quite have the legs to take him all the way.
Wakefield immediately went up the other end and took the lead with an opportunist try from Tim Smith who touched down after a suspiciously offside-looking Richard Moore had dislodged the ball from Paddy Flynn's grasp.
On 55 minutes, Wildcats prop Nick Scruton crashed over from close range and Paul Sykes second goal made it 12-10.
Thirteen minutes from time, Vikings centre Stefan Marsh chased a raking Joe Mellor kick and touched down in the corner as Wakefield fullback Richie Mathers dithered.
Tickle's excellent touchline conversion made it 12-10 and all to play for.
Widnes threw what they could at the home defence but their last chance fizzled away as Ah Van lost the ball close to the Wakefield line in the left hand corner.
Wakefield: Mathers; Owen, Lyne, Keinhorst, Riley; Sykes, Smith; Moore, Wildie, Scruton, Gilmour, Ryan, Washbrook. Subs: McShane, Tautai, Lauitiiti, Raleigh.
Widnes: Hanbury; Flynn, Marsh, Dean, Ah Van; Brown, Mellor; Cahill, Clarke, Gerrard, Galea, Tickle, Leuluai. Subs: Isa, White, Joseph, Allen.
Referee: B Thaler Attendance: 3,932