Send us news by text, start your message World News and your send photos and videos to 80360
WAKEFIELD WILDCATS 22 WIDNES VIKINGS 18
7:33am Monday 3rd September 2012 in Vikings news
IT was a case of close but no cigar for Widnes as they went down 22-18 to Wakefield Wildcats at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium.
The killer blow came just five minutes from fulltime with the scores locked at 18-18 when Wildcats forward Danny Kirmond finished off a move in the right corner to edge his side into a lead they would never relinquish.
Had Widnes held out for a point, it would have seen them leapfrog both Casttleford Tigers and London Broncos into twelfth place in the Stobart Super League.
In all likelihood, given the coming weekend's final round of fixtures, it would have meant the Vikings avoided the wooden spoon this season. As it is, they need a result against arch-rivals Warrington Wolves on Sunday.
Widnes found themselves under pressure early in the piece against a Wildcats side with a play-off place in their sights.
But Denis Betts' men hit their opponents with a sucker punch on six minutes when Rhys Hanbury broke clear from 60 metres and held off fullback Richie Mathers to score wide out.
The same player added a superb touchline goal to make it 6-0.
The home side hit back when influential half-back Tim Smith sent prop Kyle Amor charging over from close range for a six-pointer.
With only eleven minutes on the clock, one might have supposed a points-fest was in the offing, but a mixture of resolute defence and some less than proficient handling meant there was no addition to the scoreline until the last minute of the first half.
It was that man Hanbury again who, having broken clear from Frank Winterstein's short pass, coolly chipped the ball over Mathers and regathered on the full to score yet another long-range try.
If extra points were awarded for the quality of tries scored, Hanbury's tally this season would be considerably enhanced.
Substitute Paul McShane missed the conversion but the Vikings took a 10-6 lead into the break.
Mathers got his side back on level terms eleven minutes into the second half as the Vikings scrambling defence eventually gave way under a sustained attacking onslaught.
With almost their first meaningful attack of the second period, Denis Betts' men hit the front once more as David Allen's superb cut-out pass sent winger Paddy Flynn over with McShane goalling to make it 16-10.
The see-saw scoring continued as another incisive Smith pass created the opening for Wakefield second row Ali Lauitiiti to level things up once more.
It looked like anybody's game but the key moment arrived after 67 minutes.
A Danny Craven cossfield bomb was defused with interest by Wildcats winger Peter Fox who stormed 70 metres upfield.
When the move eventually broke down, referee Mr Child controversially sin-binned Flynn and awarded a penalty which Sykes booted over from 30 metres to edge Wakefield ahead.
Down to 12 men, it was always going to be difficult for Widnes to claw their way back.
But claw they did as Hanbury made it 18-all with a 40 metre penalty.
Unfortunately a poor end to their next set of six allowed Wakefield to set up the field position for Kirmond's winner.
The Widnes contingent in the crowd were devastated but they may well reflect positively on a wholehearted effort from their side and a further indication of the strides they've made in the second half of the season. Wakefield: Mathers; Fox, Collis, Smith, Cockayne; Sykes, Smith; Amor, Ellis, Raleigh, Lauitiiti, Kirmond, Washbrook. Subs: Johnson, Mariano, Wood, Wilkes.
Widnes: Briscoe; Flynn, Marsh, Phelps, Isa; Craven, Hanbury; Kite, Clarke, Pickersgill, Winterstein, Allen, Cahill. Subs: Davies, Kavanagh, McShane, Gerrard.
Referee: J Child Attendance: 8234