FOLLOWING an impressive first half performance Vikings led 20-12 at half time but York City Knights roared back to take the two points at the LNER Community Stadium.

Having lost their previous three league games, it was a must win game for Simon Finnigan’s side to keep their playoff hopes alive.

It was Widnes captain Jack Owens who gave the visitors the perfect start. The Vikings opted to attack down the short side through Adam Lawton, he was able to find Jake Spedding with the offload to send the centre away, in support on his inside was Owens who opened the scoring.

The full-back added the two points to his own try to move up to ninth in the club’s all-time points scoring list.

Back came the Knights just minutes later. A first try in Knights colours for Brendan O’Hagan. He stepped past one defender before racing through a gap to level the game.

A frantic 10 minutes followed which saw both sides go over again. After seeing their lead taken away, Widnes regained the lead with a special try. An offload from Ste Tyrer caused problems in the York defensive line and Widnes took full advantage. Deon Cross burst onto the pass before showing his pace to race 60 metres downfield to score.

Having waited all season for his first York try, O’Hagan’s second came in quick succession. It was his neat kick into the in goal that wasn’t dealt with by Widnes and the half-back was on hand to ground the loose ball.

After seeing themselves pegged back twice in the opening 25 minutes the Vikings finished the half strongly. Two quickfire tries from Joe Lyons and Tyrer gave the visitors an eight-point lead at the break.

All season the opening 20 minutes of the second half has been the Vikings downfall and it continued again. Two tries in three minutes at the start of the second half saw York take the lead for the first time in the match.

O’Hagan who was influential all game for James Ford’ side found Tyme Dow-Nikau with a short ball close to the line. Dow-Nikau’s second try followed just two minutes later. Danny Kirmond put the winger in at the corner with a superb offload. Matty Marsh added the extras to give his side a 22-20 lead.

The opening 15 minutes of the second half saw York control possession, Widnes were unable to get inside the opposition’s half. The visitors didn’t help themselves with unforced errors handing York good field position.

All the pressure put on the Widnes line finally took its toll on the hour mark. On his return to the York side this afternoon O’Hagan took the pass from James McDonnell before crossing for his hat-trick.

Heading into the final quarter of the game Widnes found themselves trailing 28-20. With work to do the away side became desperate in attack forcing passes and kicks.

With four minutes remaining the Knights sealed the win through Jack Teanby. O’Hagan who produced a man of the match performance made a run across the field before feeding Teanby who powered over to give York a 34-20 victory.

Another disappointing second half performance saw Widnes kept scoreless.

The defeat is a big blow in the Vikings hopes of climbing into the play-off places.