ANTHONY Gelling crossed for a try on debut as Widnes defeated North Wales Crusaders 48-6 in their final pre-season game.

Gelling got a chance to blow the cobwebs off before next weekend’s Betfred Championship opener against Halifax and his touchdown was one of ten tries in all.

Widnes went into the game without injured quartet Krisnan Inu, Hep Cahill, Tom Gilmore and Jay Chapelhow but otherwise coach Kieron Purtill went with the strongest side he could field.

Half-back Danny Craven made his first appearance of the season and picked up the sponsors man-of-the-match award with back-rower Sam Wilde also impressing.

The Crusaders took an unexpected lead when loose forward Kenny Baker wriggled over for a converted try ten minutes in with the Vikings having already spurned a couple of opportunities.

It took Widnes a while to get get going but they pulled four points back when winger Keenan Brand jumped higher than his opposite number to claim Craven’s cross-kick to the corner.

On 18 minutes, Gelling registered his first try in the black & white after Ryan Ince had tapped back a Jack Owens kick.

A break by trialist Dom Speakman set up the Vikings third score with centre Chris Dean crossing when the ball was switched over to the left hand side and Wilde made it 18-6 from a Craven short ball.

With the half-time hooter imminent, Widnes kept the ball alive and Ince scored wide out after following up a chip to the corner.

Early second half pressure saw impressive fullback Olly Ashall-Bott zip over for a try to make it 26-6 and Craven sent Wilde over for his second try of the game shortly afterwards.

The Craven-Wilde combination was in evidence again on 63 minutes with the latter breaking through before sending Owens over on the left.

Craven got himself on the scoreboard after yet another link up with Wilde to make it 42-6 with Brad Walker’s goal and substitute Sam Walters ghosted over to add a final six points before the hooter..

Widnes: Ashall-Bott; Ince, Gelling, Dean, Brand, Craven, Owens; Chapelhow, Hood, Tangata, Hansen, Wilde, Leuluai. Subs: Albert, Farnworth, Walker, Speakman, Walsh, Lyons, Freeman, Roby, Buckley, Walters.```

North Wales Crusaders: Price; Conroy, Beckett, Hurst, Massam; Roper, Stead; W Thompson, Ashall, Brennan, Atherton, A Thompson, Baker. Subs: Hudson, Hughes, Conor, Eccleston, Davies.

Half-Time: 22-6

Referee: Mr C Smith

Attendance: 1,560