SHEFFIELD half-back Anthony Thackeray put the skids under his former club as the Eagles downed Widnes 30-10 at Olympic Legacy Park.

Thackeray registered two tries of his own and had a hand in several others as Mark Aston’s team gave themselves a confidence booster ahead of the 1895 Cup final which will see the same two sides go head-to-head at Wembley on Saturday, August 24th.

Widnes started brightly enough and enjoyed the better field position in the opening minutes but that all came to an abrupt end when Eagles centre Jacob Ogden intercepted a Jack Owens pass on his own tryline and raced 60 metres before tossing the ball inside to winger Ben Blackmore who finished off at the posts. Pat Walker’s conversion made it 6-0.

Things got worse as the Vikings gave away a series of penalties to piggy-back Sheffield downfield and from the resulting pressure prop forward Bradley Knowles danced his way over from close range for another six pointer to double the home side’s lead on 20 minutes.

A Macgraff Leuluai break finally re-established some field-position for Widnes and Ryan Ince took advantage, squeezing over at the right corner on the next play to make it 12-4 on the half hour.

The remaining ten minutes saw both sides probing for an opening but there was no further scoring before the break Widnes looked hungry at the start of the second half and actually forced Sheffield back into their in-goal area from the kick-off.

But in a near repeat of the first half, a handling error saw Menzie Yere race to half-way and from the next play Thackeray ghosted through to score to the right of the posts with Walker again on target with the extras.

Widnes hit straight back when a Danny Craven stab into the Eagles in-goal was pounced on by Warrington loanee Ellis Robson. Owens conversion made it 18-10 on 48 minutes.

The Vikings swept forward again but a Lloyd Roby fumble brought that particular foray to an end.

A break up the middle by Sheffield on 55 minutes saw Thackeray in support and he showed a good turn of foot for his second converted try to keep Widnes at arms length at 24-10.

Yet another Thackeray break, on the back of an Widnes error, put Kieron Putill’s men on the back foot again and a grubber to the line saw Yere dive in for a six-pointer which put the Vikings well behind the 8-ball with 18 minutes remaining.

The Vikings chanced their arm to try to get back into the contest in the latter stages but Sheffield weren’t in a charitable mood and took the spoils 30-10.

Sheffield: Guzdek; Millar, Yere, Ogden, Blackmore; Walker, Thackeray; Pick, G Burns, Knowles, Farrell, Davies, Brown. Subs: Makelim, P Burns, Dixon, Broadbent.

Widnes: Owens; Ince, Dean, Roby, Hatton; Craven, Lyons; J Chapelhow, Johnstone, Norman, Wilde, Robson, Walker. Subs: Cahill, Ganson, T Chapelhow, Hansen.

Half-Time: 12-4 Referee: Mr G Dolan Attendance: 772