A CROWD of 5,782 saw a resurrected and rejuvenated Widnes Vikings get the better of Featherstone Rovers with a 44-22 victory at Halton Stadium.

Widnes brought back scrum-half Tom Gilmore and influential forward Hep Cahill after injury with Brad Walker also stepping up to the starting thirteen.

Widnes got off to the perfect start when Featherstone made an error from the kick-off and Liam Hood sneaked over from dummy-half with Jack Owens adding the extras.

The second score wasn’t far behind with Anthony Gelling proving too strong for his opposite number as he crashed over in the corner. Owens goaled superbly from the right hand touchline.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

It became 16-0 when Owens’ grubber into the in-goal area was pounced on by winger Ryan Ince with the Rovers defence caught daydreaming.

Vikings fans must have thought they’d died and gone to heaven when the fourth try came on 15 minutes after left winger Owen Buckley jumped high to catch a Danny Craven bomb and fed the fast-supporting Hood who crossed for his second six-pointer.

Difficult handling conditions saw both sides commit a series if errors which hampered the flow of the game and it took Widnes a while to re-establish decent field-position.

But just before half-time smart passing to the right ended with Tom Gilmore sending second rower Brad Walker over with Owens’ goal making it 28-0.

The Vikings struggled for possession early in the second period but still should have added to their tally when Owens broke clear but Buckley couldn’t take in his pass.

Three consecutive sets on the Widnes line saw Fev finally break their duck when prop Daniel Smith rumbled over from close range.

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The opposition try seemed to galvanise the Vikings and when they got bto the other end, Craven sent Sam Wilde in with a short ball with Owens again on target.

A superb Craven 40/20 kick created the position for try number seven on 55 minutes with Owens joining the line and finding a huge hole in the Rovers defence to cross and add the extras making it 40-6.

The Vikings found themselves on the wrong end of several penalties allowing the visitors to camp in their 20-metre area and Fev were rewarded with tries to centre Harry Newman and hooker Cameron King to pull the score back to 40-18.

A scuffle inside the Rovers ‘20’ led to a Vikings penalty and from the resulting pressure Gelling popped the ball out of a tackle allowing Ince to dive over for his second try.

Widnes were forced to concede a couple of goalline drop-outs and Newman crossed for a second try of his own to complete the scoring at 44-22.

A satisfying end to an emotional week.

Widnes: Owens; Ince, Gelling, Brand, Buckley; Craven, Gilmore; Cahill, Hood, Hansen, Wilde, Walker, Leuluai. Subs: T Chapelhow, Johnstone, J Chapelhow, Farnworth.

Featherstone: Turner; Briscoe, Golding, Newman, Render; A Boas, W Boas; Wheeldon, King, Smith, Davies, Harrison, Lockwood. Subs: Hardcastle, Cooper, Maskill, Ormondroyd.

Half-Time: 28-0 Referee: Mr M Griffiths Attendance: 5,782