KEVIN Brown put the skids under his former club with a hat-trick of tries that helped Warrington beat Widnes 34-20 in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.

The Vikings contingent in the Halliwell Jones crowd gave Brown plenty of stick but the stand-off had the last laugh.

Widnes were without a host of first-team regulars as they continue to do it tough with injuries.

Denis Betts' side included debutant winger Lloyd Roby along with youngsters Liam Walsh in the centres, Jordan Johnstone at scrum-half and Danny Walker on the bench.

Prop Manase Mauokafoa returned to the fold after a lengthy absence.

Warrington were close to full strength with Brown making his first appearance for the Wolves against the side he left in the closed season.

The Wolves had a couple of early opportunities which failed on the back of forward passes as the Vikings defended resolutely.

In fact it was Widnes who opened the scoring when a Rhys Hanbury half-break and quick play-the-ball allowed Greg Burke to crash in under the posts with Patrick Ah Van goalling.

Warrington levelled things up on 20 minutes when centre Ryan Atkins found a hole from close range and Stefan Ratchford added the extras.

Hanbury was sin-binned for interference at the play-the-ball after Brown had stolen the ball from Ah Van and from the ensuing pressure the former Widnes man dummied his way over to give his side a 12-6 lead.

Both sides had opportunities to add points but the score remained unchanged up to the break.

Six minutes into the second half, Widnes levelled things up when prop Jay Chapelhow muscled his way through a double tackle and Ah Van converted superbly from the left touchline.

On 50 minutes, Ah Van nudged his way ahead with a simple penalty goal which made it 14-12.

There was an argument for keeping the pressure on rather than kicking the penalty and when the Vikings lost the ball bringing it away from their own line after the restart, Brown took advantage to ghost through for his second try with Ratchford's goal making it 18-14.

A further Ratchford goal increased the lead to six points but a brilliant break by young Walker was finished off by Ah Van at the posts to draw the scores level once again.

With eleven minutes remaining, Brown somehow forced his way over for his hat-trick despite the attentions of four Widnes defenders to make it 24-20.

And just four minutes later, Warrington winger Matty Russell squeezed in at the right corner to effectively win the game for his side.

Wolves skipper Chris Hill gave the scoreline a lop-sided look when he sauntered under the posts to make it 34-20.

The Vikings' Wembley dream is over for another year but nobody could claim they went down without a fight.

Warrington: Ratchford; Russell, Hughes, Atkins, Lineham; Brown, Patton; Hill, Gidley, Sims, Jullien, Westwood, Cooper. Subs: Philbin, Crosby, G King, Smith.

Widnes: Hanbury; Roby, Runciman, Walsh, Ah Van; Mellor, Johnstone; Buchanan, Heremaia, Dudson, Cahill, Olbison, Burke. Subs: Manuokafoa, O'Carroll, J Chapelhow, D Walker.

Half-Time: 12-6 Referee: J Child Attendance: 5,971