BLINK and you might have missed something in this outstanding North One West fixture at Heath Road.
It was nip and tuck all the way through, with the home side unsure of victory right up until the final whistle.
The enterprising visitors had opened their account with a try early on before Widnes got their noses in front with a converted try from Andrew Riley.
The home side then hit the Cumbrian side with a treble whammy either side of half time as Gareth Riley, Phil Glover and Andrew Riley again, along with the three conversions almost put them out of sight at 28 – 5.
But, Carlisle were having none of it though, and steadily chipped away at the deficit as Widnes failed to put the game to bed.
Three outstanding tries, a conversion and a penalty made it 28 – 25 before Widnes back up field with another decent passage of play to get Rob Critchley over. There was still enough time for Carlisle to convert another penalty, before Widnes eventually closed out the last few minutes to secure the win that lifts them up a place to third in the table.
Widnes seconds promotion hopes remain on ice following a second successive defeat, this time at the hands of champions Sale FC who remain unbeaten.
The thirds also lost 30-19 at Waterloo, which, effectively ended their hopes of also going up.