Widnes Vikings 12 York City Knights 16

YORK City Knights completed a league double over Widnes as they triumphed 16-12 at Halton Stadium.

It was a frustrating afternoon for Widnes fans who saw their team enjoy plenty of possession on the York line but fail to find the killer touch.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

Pictures: Richard Walker

Widnes boss Kieron Purtill rang the changes following the previous week’s loss to Leigh at the Summer Bash.

Sam Freeman was brought in at fullback with Ryan Ince returning from injury on the right wing.

Joe Lyons replaced Tom Gilmore in the scrum-half role and trialist Josh Ganson was handed a first start at dummy-half with the versatile Jordan Johnstone packing down at loose forward. Dan Norman came in on the bench.

The Vikings looked sharp early on as they starved the visitors of possession.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

Pictures: Richard Walker

The first try came when City Knights fullback Matty Marsh spilled the ball in his own in-goal area and Lloyd Roby was on hand to touch down with Freeman adding the goal.

Indiscipline began to creep into the Vikings’ play and they found themselves having to do too much defending.

York winger Perry Whiteley missed a gilt-edged chance to score when he dropped the ball with the line wide open but it didn’t take James Ford’s team long to hit back as Tim Spears and half-back Liam Harris combined with the latter finishing off under the posts to level things at 6-6.

York continued to enjoy the better of things but the Widnes defence held out and on 33 minutes they hit their opponents with a sucker punch.

Again York were authors of their own misfortune as they spilled the ball in their own ‘20’ following a downfield kick and Lyons picked up to score and give his team a 10-6 lead.

Unfortunately, an error on the next set allowed the City Knights to launch another attack and Hull KR loanee Junior Vaivai powered over just a little to easily to send the sides in at the break level at 10-10.

The early skirmishes of the second half saw a cautious approach from both sides.

Centre Keenan Brand looked a likely scorer but lost his footing five metres out and released a forward pass to Owen Buckley.

The Vikings were awarded a penalty on 50 minutes for a tip-tackle on Owen Farnworth and Freeman booted a simple penalty to nudge his team in front.

A series of York errors allowed Widnes to camp on the York line but they couldn’t turn several near misses into points.

As so often seems to be the way of these things, with almost their first visit into Vikings territory the City Knights crossed the whitewash when Vaivai slipped a one-handed pass to unmarked winger Will Oakes and Robinson goaled against the wind from the touchline to give York a 16-12 lead.

Hep Cahill broke clear from 20 metres out but was halted just inches from the tryline and several times kicks into the in-goal went dead and allowed the opposition out.

Keenan Brand went close when he stole the ball one-on-one near to the York line but he knocked on as he tried to place it over the line.

It was one of those days.

Widnes: Freeman; Ince, Roby, Brand; Buckley; Craven, Lyons; Cahill, Ganson, Hansen, Wilde, Dean, Johnstone. Subs: T Chapelhow, Farnworth, Norman.

York: Marsh; Whiteley, Salter, Vaivai, Oakes; Harris, Robinson; Teanby, Jubb, Aldous, Jordan-Roberts, Scott, Spears. Subs: Brining, Horne, Stock, Porter.

Half-Time: 10-10 Referee: Mr J Smith Attendance: 3,408