THE Vikings overcame a spirited Batley Bulldogs side to maintain their winning start to their 2020 Betfred Championship campaign.

The final scoreline of 32-12 was perhaps a little flattering to the Widnes but nobody at the DCBL Stadium will be complaining Head coach Tim Sheens largely kept faith with the players who did the job for him on the opening weekend at Oldham.

Macgraff Leuluai came in for Connor Dwyer at loose forward while Shane Grady moved up from the bench to the second row with Kenny Baker going in the opposite direction.

The kick-off was delayed 15 minutes with the Bulldogs having a slow journey across the Pennines.

Perhaps the Bulldogs late arrival affected their early momentum and Widnes looked the livelier outfit.

The first try wasn’t long in coming as a Matty Smith chip was plucked out of the air by Grady who had the presence of mind to release centre Jake Spedding to finish off at the corner.

The Vikings continued to press and it came as no surprise when they kept the ball alive on last tackle with Danny Craven and Spedding combing to get winger Deon Cross over at ther right corner.

Jack Owens converted the Cross try superbly from the touchline and was on target with a 30-metre penalty to give his side a 12-0 lead after 19 minutes.

However, any notion the visitors might be there for the taking were quickly dispelled when a superb break up the middle saw them held just short and from the next play centre Lewis Galbraith rose highest to collect a cross-kick to register a six-pointer.

The Bulldogs were soon on level terms when hooker Alistair Leak scored all too easily at close range from dummy-half to level things up.

The build up to half-time saw the teams going set for set but Widnes got their noses in front when a midfield Smith bomb was claimed by Owens and the ball was moved quickly through hands allowing Spedding to cross wide out to make it 16-12 at the break.

The early second-half arm-wrestle came to an abrupt end when a Smith short ball sent substitute Baker marauding over from 20 metres with Owens adding the extras.

With a monsoon starting to sweep across the ground, the Vikings made it 26-12 when Grady scattered a couple of defenders to crash over from ten metres out.

Having to play catch-up football and with handling conditions now extremely difficult, the Bulldogs error rate increased allowing Widnes to dominate possession.

The final score of the game came in the last minute when Cross tossed the ball back inside for Owens to plunge over and the fullback goaled superbly from wide out to make the final score 32-12.

Widnes: Owens; Cross, Roby, Spedding, Johnson; Craven, Lyons; T Chapelhow, Tomkins, Moran, Wilde, Grady, Leuluai. Subs: Lyons, Edge, Farnworth, Dwyer, Baker.

Batley: Hooley; Reittie, Tomlinson, Galbraith, Scott; White, Yates; Brown, Leak, Everett, Manning, Walshaw, Bowman. Subs: Ward, Blagbrough, Lunt, Pick.

Half-time: 16-12 Referee: Mr T Grant Attendance: 3,577