WIDNES gave it btheir best shot but were ultimatley outgunned by Hull as they went down 39-20 at Halton Stadium.

A three-try second half burst made the difference with the Vikings having held a 14-12 lead with less than half hour remaining.

Widnes made a raft of enforced changes from the previous week’s 31-12 loss at Hull KR.

An unfamiliar centre partnership of Matt Whitley and Chris Dean, both more at home in the back-row, epitomised head coach Denis Betts’ injury problems.

Hull came into the contest with a few injury issues of their own but were able to bring back winger USA international Bureta Faraimo after suspension.

Widnes enjoyed the early pressure but were kept out by keen Hull defence and the injury jinx struck again when Dean left the field with a bicep injury.

On nine minutes and with their first real attack Hull opened the scoring when Jake Connor’s smart flick pass sent Danny Washbrook scampering over with Marc Sneyd converting.

Hull doubled the lead to 12-0 when an Albert Kelly cross-kick was fielded by Faraimo who sold a cheeky dummy before spinning out of a tackle and crossing for a six-pointer.

Credit to the Vikings, they came back strongly and after a couple of penalties gave them field-position, quick hands got Sam Wilde in at the corner with Tom Gilmore goalling superbly to make it 12-6 on 20 minutes.

The remainder of the first half was nip-and-tuck but Gilmore pulled a further two points back with a penalty on the stroke of half-time.

Widnes co-captain Chris Houston went close following the restart but was stopped just short and became the latest Vikings injury victim in the process.

Denis Betts’ men continued to press and Tom Olbison sneaked over from dummy-half with Gilmore’s conversion giving his side a 14-12 lead.

It didn’t last long however.

Masi Matongo cruised through a huge hole on 54 minutes to score under the posts and just two minutes later Josh Griffin tore through the Widnes defence to score wide out to make it 22-14.

On 59 minutes, Hull went in again when a Sneyd kick was latched onto by Fetuli Talanoa in the left corner.

Sneyd missed the conversion but was on target with a drop-goal with 14 minutes remaining that gave his side a 27-14 advantage.

The Vikings refused to give up the ghost and Olbison hit a gap to cross behind the posts for his second converted try.

Widnes kept the ball alive desperately and a loose pass from Aaron Heremaia was latched onto by Griffin who raced in from half-way on 76 minutes.

Sneyd added the extras and was on target again when Jamie Shaul added a try at the death to confirm a 39-20 win for his team.

Widnes: Hanbury; Ince, Dean, Runciman, Chamberlain; Mellor, Gilmore; Gerrard, Heremaia, T Chapelhow, Olbison, Whitley, Houston. Subs: Hull: Shaul; Faraimo, Connor, Downs, Talanoa; Kelly, Sneyd; Taylor, Houghton, Paea, Washbrook, Griffin, Bowden. Subs: Green, Matongo, Tuimavave, Litten.

Half-time: 8-12.

Referee: Mr C Kendall.

Attendance: 3,733.