THE Vikings’ Wembley adventure came to a disappointing end as an Aaron Brown hat-trick helped Sheffield Eagles to a 36-18 victory in the inaugural 1895 Cup final.

In truth, the Yorkshire side were better in all departments with ex-Vikings half-back Anthony Thackeray scooping the Ray French Trophy as man-of-the-match.

Widnes had held an 18-12 lead at half-time but an irrepressible Eagles side ran in 24 unanswered second half points.

Things started badly on the personnel front for the Vikings when hooker Jordan Johnstone was stretchered off with an eye injury after just four minutes.

The early sparring was brought to an end when a familiar drop-off move saw left winger Patrick Ah Van make inroads and he found Harrison Hansen on his inside to cross for a six-pointer.

Just three minutes later and Widnes doubled their lead with a superb try from their own half. A late offload in the tackle allowed Tom Gilmore to send Ted Chapelhow galloping upfield and the prop drew the fullback before sending Chris Dean over to the right of the posts making it easy for Jack Owens to add the extras.

Any notions that it might be an easy day for Widnes were quickly dispelled when centre Brown bulldozed over from close range a little to easily with Pat Walker’s goal making it 12-6.

On 25 minutes the scores were levelled when Thackeray somehow smuggled the ball from Keanan Brand’s grasp and raced 80 metres unopposed to the posts.

Widnes were starting to look distinctly wobbly but the ship was steadied when Danny Craven made inroads into the Sheffield ‘20’ and his quick play-the-ball allowed Gilmore to sneak over from dummy-half. Owen’s third conversion gave the Vikings an 18-12 interval lead.

Widnes got off to a disastrous start to the second half when a huge Pat Walker spiral bomb was misjudged by right winger Jayden Hatton who lost his footing allowing Eagles second-rower to pounce on the loose ball and pull four points back.

On 49 minutes Sheffield took the lead for the first time in the match when a break up the Vikings left edge saw the ball kept alive by a speculative pass which ended up in the hands of Brown who crossed for his second converted try to make it 22-18.

Things got even blacker for Widnes when more smart work instigated by Thackeray was finished off in style by loose forward Corey Makelim to give his side a ten point cushion.

The Vikings attempts to get back into the game looked ever more desperate and the error rate increased.

With four minutes remaining, Hatton spilled the ball in his own ‘20’ on a kick-return and with no other Vikings at home, Brown crossed for his hat-trick score.

The game was up at 34-18 but there was still time for Walker to rub salt in the wound with a 40-metre penalty goal.

Widnes: Owens; Hatton, Gelling, Brand, Ah Van; Craven, Gilmore; T Chapelhow, Johnstone, Cahill, Hansen, Dean, Walker. Subs: Leuluai, Norman, J Chapelhow, Wilde.

Sheffield: Guzdek; Millar, Hellewell, Brown, Blackmore; Walker, Thackeray; Pick, G Burns, Tagg, Davies, Farrell, Makelim. Subs: Davey, Broadbent, P Burns, Mason.

Half-Time: 18-12

Referee: Mr C Kendall