BEATEN but unbowed, Widnes Vikings gave their all before going down 32-18 to Hull in a gripping Carnegie Challenge Cup fifth-round tie at Stobart Stadium Halton.

Few gave the Vikings a prayer against Peter Sharp's Super League outfit, but it was clear from the outset that the men from east Yorkshire were in for a much tougher afternoon than anticpated.

Widnes ripped into the tackle from the kick-off, making their opponents work hard to make progress.

It was one of the few Hull players to show that extra bit of class, scrum-half Adam Dykes, who got the scoreboard ticking as he started and finished off a fine move on six minutes with centre Craig Hall adding the simple conversion.

Any thoughts the initial try may be the sign of the floodgates opening were quickly dispelled.

The Vikings were starting to run with real purpose.

Prop forward Iain Morrison was particularly impressive, well supported by second row Danny Hill against his former club.

Widnes got the equalising score they deserved when loose-forward Bob Beswick forced his way over from close range with Gavin Dodd turning four points into six.

While Widnes were generally managing to subdue Hull's attacking ambitions, one had the feeling the Humberside club had the ability to strike from deep.

And so it proved as former Australian State of Origin winger Matt Sing broke from his own 20 metre area to set up the position for fullback Todd Byrne to race over wide out.

Excellent support play then saw Hull substitute Michael Burnett charge in for a six-pointer to give the visitors some breathing space at 16-6.

But back came Widnes once again.

Lee Paterson, another man to impress for the Vikings, was fed by Beswick just a few metres from the Hull line and showed good evasive skills before slamming the ball over the line.

Dodd was again on target with the extras and Widnes were right in the game at just 16-12 as the half-time hooter sounded.

Another long-distance breakout was to prove the Vikings undoing early in the second half.

Referee Ronnie Laughton told Hill he was offside as he chased a bomb and left the big back-rower with the choice of either tackling the Hull catcher and conceding a penalty, or letting him run free.

He chose the latter, but in hindsight may think giving up the penalty may not have been such a bad idea.

As a result, Hull broke through and Hall was in support to outpace Widnes fullback Ian Hardman to the corner.

However, he failed to land the goal and Widnes were still in touch.

Even more so when substitute Rob Draper disdainfully shrugged off a would-be Hull tackler 15 metres out before powering over.

Dodd's goal made it a two point ball game at 20-18.

Widnes had their chances in the latter stages of the match, but tries from second row Willie Manu and a second from Dykes ultimately wrapped things up for Hull.

If Steve McCormack's men show the same sort of commitment for the rest of their National League One campaign, they may well find themselves in the shake-up come play-off time.

Widnes: Hardman; Gaskell, Crookes, Grady, Dodd (3g); Paterson (1t), Duffy; Morrison, Smith, Gannon, Hill, Donoghue, Beswick (1t). Subs: Yates, Draper (1t), Bowman, Kavanagh.