WIDNES finally got their league points into the positive and escaped from the bottom of the Betfred Championship table with a 30-12 Good Friday win over Leigh Centurions at Halton Stadium.

In hot conditions, the Vikings proved themselves to be fitter side and having established a handy half-time lead, the players tackled their hearts out to shut the opposition out after the break.

Widnes boss Kieron Purtill largely stuck with the team that did the job eight days earlier against York in the Challenge Cup.

However, there was no Chris Dean or Owen Farnworth who both picked up injuries in the York match.

Ted Chapelhow was back in harness at prop and Calum O’Neill became the latest Vikings youngster to see First Team action this year with a place on the bench.

Widnes got off to great start after a Craven bomb had been fumbled and on the next set Joe Lyons too the ball to the line and popped it up for second row Brad Walker to cross fro a six-pointer.

Widnes doubled their lead on 12 minutes with a slick scrum move with Jack Owens supplying the final pass for Anthony Gelling to stroll over.

Everything looked set fair for the Vikings when a third try came as Gelling turned provider to allow Lyons to score wide out and make it 16-0.

Any notion Leigh had come to make up the numbers were dispelled when a clean break up the middle was finished off by Josh Eaves and then winger Jonny Pownall raced in at the right corner. With Martin Ridyard converting both touchdowns, it was back on at 16-12.

Three minutes before the interval, a superb break from dummy-half by Jordan Johstone saw him flick the ball to Lyons who went under the posts for his second try with Owens’ third goal making it 22-12 at half-time.

Having expended considerable energy in the first half, both sides seemed to be struggling to raise a gallop in the second period.

Craven went close to increasing the Widnes lead after regathering his own chip ahead but couldn’t ground the ball over the line.

Leigh had their moments too but were met by a committed Widnes defence.

It took until the 64th minute for the next score to come and it was Vikings debutant O’Neill who hit a great line to ghost over from from Owens’ flat pass to his own and the crowd’s obvious delight. The goal made it 28-12.

Leigh’s efforts to force their way back into the contest foundered on the back of a combination of a lack of energy and continued strong tackling from the Vikings.

With six minutes remaining, Owens slotted over a 42 metre penalty to push the score out to 30-12 and there was no way back for exhausted Centurions.

Widnes: Owens; Ince, Gelling, Brand, Freeman; Craven, Lyons; Cahill, Johnstone, T Chapelhow, Wilde, Walker, Leuluai. Subs: J Chapelhow, Walsh, O’Neill Roby.

Leigh: McNally; Pownall, Thornley, Cox, Marsh; Ridyard, Woods; Douglas, Hood, Brooks, Adamson, A Thornley, Cator. Subs: Eaves, Spencer, Emmitt, Gregson.

Half-Time: 22-12

Referee: Mr S Mikalauskas

Attendance: 5.866