BOB Beswick's late drop-goal sealed the points as Widnes overcame Dewsbury Rams 29-22 at Tetley's Stadium.

While Beswick's one-pointer may well garner the headlines, a special mention should also be given to skipper Mark Smith's try saving tackle on Dewsbury's ex-Widnes half-back Dean Lawford a couple of minutes earlier.

Lawford looked a certain scorer and with what would have been a relatively easy goal-kick to follow, the game would have been tied up at 28-28 with only minutes remaining.

However, Smith tracked back fully 50 metres to tackle Lawford as he crossed the whitewash and somehow prevented him from grounding the ball.

It was an amazing effort by the Vikings captain and gave his side the opportunity to force their way back up field and for Beswick to land his impressive 40-metre strike.

In the end, the three points were hard-earned by Steve McCormack's men after they had looked fully in control at the interval.

Two converted first-half tries to Rams' centre Andrew Bostock were cancelled out by close range scores from Richard Fletcher and Ben Kavanagh, both goaled by Gavin Dodd.

But Widnes were in the ascendant in the latter part of the first period as first Jim Gannon and then debutant Sam Barlow stretched over to give the forwards a clean sweep of the Vikings' first half tries and their team a 24-12 lead.

Widnes fans could have been forgiven for thinking their side might run away with it after the break especially given the vulnerability of the Rams defence to big men running hard close to the line.

But the Yorkshiremen steeled themselves in the second half and hit back when Bostock completed his hat-trick despite suspicions of a knock-on in the build up.

Beswick was held up just short after selling a dummy 20 metres out but with the home defence at sixes-and-sevens Lee Paterson sent Dodd over in the corner from the next play.

Lawford wrong footed Fletcher to score from close range for Dewsbury and Patrick Walker's third conversion put things back in the melting pot at 28-22.

Widnes endured a barrage of Dewsbury pressure in the latter stages but thanks to mixture of good last-ditch defence, notably from Smith, and their opponents inability to find the killer pass, they survived.

And up popped Beswick to end the argument and give the Vikings a bit of breathing space near the foot of Co-Operative National League One.

Widnes: Hardman; Gaskell, Crookes, Paterson, Dodd (1t, 4g); Beswick (1dg), Duffy, Morrison, Smith, Gannon (1t), Hill, Fletcher (1t), Gallagher. Subs: Grady, Barlow (1t), Draper, Kavanagh (1t).