IT was a solid effort but a lack of finishing power cost Widnes dearly as they went down 26-10 at St Helens.

There were several spells in the game when the Vikings enjoyed the better of things but the bottom line is they only managed to conjure up two tries.

At the other end, the home side were just that bit more clinical with fullback Jonny Lomax proving a real handful linking up from the backfield.

The Vikings dominated the opening stages on the back of several Saints handling errors.

Chances came and went with the best of them falling to centre Charly Runciman as he side-stepped opposite number Ryan Morgan but dropped the ball in the act of scoring.

It took Saints some time to establish any kind of field-position and after looking a bit rusty with ball in-hand they exploded into life on 22 minutes.

Jonny Lomax and Mark Percival linked up to send winger Regan Grace away and his return pass sent Percival to the posts for a self-converted try.

Lomax was again a key man four minutes later when his superb cut-out pass sent Grace free and he rounded Widnes fullback Jack Johnson to make it 10-0.

The introduction of Danny Craven gave the Vikings another attacking option and his high kicks twice caused chaos in the home defence but Denis Betts' men couldn't capitalise in the build up to the half-time break.

The beginning of the second half had some similarities with the first.

Widnes again enjoyed a welter of possession but this time they came up with some points.

Nice hands from Aaron Heremaia and Jack Johnson created the space for winger Ryan Ince to squeeze in at the right corner to make it 10-4.

Saints response was quick with giant prop Alex Walmsley crashing over from close range and then Lomax selling a dummy before putting Ryan Morgan in wide out to establish a 20-4 lead.

Widnes continued to give their all and pulled six points back with ten minutes remaining when Gil Dudson's superb back pass out of the tackle put Craven under the posts.

But it was Saints who had the last word when Theo Fages charged down a Craven clearance kick and regathered to score.

St Helens: Lomax; Makinson, Morgan, Percival, Grace; Fages, Smith; Walmsley, Roby, Amor, Taia, Wilkin, McCarthy-Scarsbrook. Subs: Douglas, Thompson, Knowles, Richardson.

Widnes: Johnson; Ince, Marsh, Runciman, Thompson; Chase, Heremaia; Dudson, Johnstone, Buchanan, Houston, Whitley, Cahill. Subs: Olbison, J Chapelhow, Manuokafoa, Craven.

Half-Time: 10-0 Referee: Mr S Mikalauskas Attendance: 10,474