WIDNES gave up a 22-point lead as they went down 33-22 to Hull at Halton Stadium.

Denis Betts' men looked to have a firm grip on the two league points but a try just before the break to the visitors appeared to change the course of the game completely.

Hull dominated the second period scoring five more unanswered tries to take the spoils.

The Vikings rang the changes with fullback Rhys Hanbury, centre Chris Bridge and hookers Aaron Heremaia and Danny Walker returning to the matchday 17.

Widnes started brightly but the injury jinx didn't take long to strike with the unlucky Bridge exiting the fray in the second minute after being dumped in a tackle.

The first score of the day came the Vikings way when good work by Hep Cahill and Gil Dudson allowed second row Chris Houston to barge over wide out.

Powerhouse winger Mahe Fonua went close for Hull but Widnes increased their lead to 10-0 when Rhys Hanbury raced fifty metres from substitute Matt Whitley's offload, holding off opposite fullback Jamie Shaul in the process, with Tom Gilmore adding a fine touchline goal.

Hull enjoyed a spell of pressure but were repelled by strong Widnes defence and both sides made numerous handling errors on a perfect day for rugby.

The Vikings third try cam on 27 minutes when, after multiple sets on the visitors line, the ball was shipped wide to winger Patrick Ah Van who finished with some aplomb with Gilmore again on target with the extras.

And eight minutes later it was Ah Van in again as he juggled a Gilmore cross-kick before touching down with the goal making it 22-0.

With less than a minute left on the first half clock, Hull issued notice of what they were capable of when Jansin Turgut finished off a right side move to pull four points back.

And the Airlie Birds got the perfect start to the second half when in the first set of six Josh Griffin strode through the home defence to put Shaul over for a six-pointer.

Lee Radford's men quickly engineered another opportunity but Griffin knocked on with the line at his mercy.

Once again Hull looked certain to score but Heremaia's superb cover tackle prevented the touchdown.

However, it was third time lucky on 58 minutes when Albert Kelly sent Shaul away and centre Carlos Tuimavave finished off to bring Hull back within six points at 22-16.

Kelly worked his magic again when he found a hole in the Widnes defence and side-stepped Hanbury on a 70 metre run to the line to level things up.

With 15 minutes remaining, the momentum was all with the Yorkshiremen and Shaul sailed in again to give his side a 28-22 lead after bursting through Gilmore and Charly Runciman's attempted tackle.

Sneyd's 70th minute drop-goal effectively ended the argument but just to make sure Hull engineered a last minute try for second row Danny Wasshbrook with Widnes fans left to wonder what might have been.

Widnes: Hanbury; Marsh, Bridge, Runciman, Ah Van; Mellor, Gilmore; Dudson, Heremaia, Buchanan, Houston, Dean, Cahill. Subs: D Walker, O'Carroll, Whitley, Gerrard.

Hull: Shaul; Fonua, Connor, Tuimavave, Michaels; Kelly, Sneyd; Green, Houghton, Watts, Washbrook, Minichiello, Thompson. Subs: Fash, Turgut, Griffin, Bowden.

Half-Time: 22-4.

Referee: G Hewer.

Attendance: 5,082.