WIDNES survived a late scare before picking up the spoils 25-20 against Bradford Bulls at Halton Stadium.

With less than two minutes on the clock, the visitors thought they’d snatched victory as they crossed under the posts but the move was pulled back for obstruction on the intervention of the touch judge.

The Vikings made just one change from the previous week’s win at Barrow with Chris Dean returning in the centre allowing Keenan Brand to move to the wing with Owen Buckley dropping out.

Widnes got off to a great start when stand-off Danny Craven sold an outrageous dummy and forced his way over the line just to the left of the posts with Jack Owens adding the goal.

The Vikings second try was a cracker. Craven’s dummy and half-break was carried on by Owens who kicked intelligently for winger Keenan Brand to follow up and cross to finish a 60-metre move and give his side a 12-0 lead.

Any thoughts it might be an easy afternoon were dispelled when swift passing to the right got Bulls winger David Foggin-Johnston over wide out to pull six points back and Bradford were soon level when ex-Viking Connor Farrell ghosted through for another six-pointer.

Widnes regained the lead when Jordan Johnstone wriggled over from dummy-half to leave Owens with a simple conversion.

With the clock ticking down to half-time, Bradford opted to pull two points back with a penalty goal to make the interval score 18-14.

Widnes enjoyed the better of the field-position after the break but struggled to open up the Bulls defence. Eventually, they settled for an Owens penalty to re-establish a six point lead.

That lead was stretched one point further when the impressive Craven popped over a drop goal to make it 21-14 on 61 minutes.

A series of scuffles broke out which certainly got the crowd on their toes and Widnes found themselves on a team warning for consistent infringement.

The next score didn’t come until the 74 minute mark when quick hands allowed right winger Ryan Ince to squeeze over to seemingly secure the points for Widnes at 25-14.

The Bulls had other ideas and James Green bullocked over from dummy-half for a six-pointer to set up a grandstand finish.

Bradford threw caution to the wind and thought they’d pulled off a miracle when Elliot Minchella crossed but the officials came to the Vikings rescue.

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

Bradford: Pickersgill; Foggin-Johnston, Evans, Oakes, Ryan; Minchella, Wildie; Kirk, Hallas, Crossley, Garside, Farrell, Wood. Subs: Flanagan, Bustin, Green, Storton.

Half-Time: 18-14

Referee: Mr G Hewer

Attendance: 5,335