TWO tries from Danny Hill helped Widnes to a 30-22 win over Sheffield Eagles and moved them to within sight of the play-off zone.

The powerful second rower's brace proved crucial in a game which the Vikings dominated for long periods, but where they struggled to shake off their Yorkshire visitors.

Sheffield came to Stobart Stadium Halton with a good run of form behind them including a draw with Co-Operative National League One favourites Salford City Reds.

However, their inability to hold onto the ball put them under severe pressure in the opening stages of the match.

Constant Widnes attacks saw stand-off Lee Paterson jink his way over from close range to open the scoring after five minutes.

The pattern remained the same, but the Vikings struggled to find the killer touch near the opposition line until Hill took a hand in proceedings.

Prop Jim Gannon's quick play-the-ball saw skipper Mark Smith scoot out from dummy-half and his pass found Hill who was too powerful for the Eagles defence from close range.

Gavin Dodd added the extras and with a quarter of the match gone it was 10-0 to Widnes.

Sheffield had struggled to mount any attacks, but finally got their act together on 26 minutes when substitute Alex Szostak went over for a converted try.

Widnes re-established their 10-point cushion when winger Dean Gaskell did well to squeeze in at the corner under pressure and Gavin Dodd added the extras despite his touchline conversion never rising more than six inches above the crossbar on it's entire flight.

Given their territorial dominance, the Vikings should really have been out of sight by the interval, but instead it was Sheffield who hit back just before the hooter.

Giant prop Alex Rowe made inroads before fellow substitute Mick Hill burrowed over from dummy-half. Johnny Woodcock's conversion made it 16-12.

Dodd added a penalty for Widnes early in the second half but the home side probably rued their decision to take the two points when an error early in the tackle count gifted field position to the Eagles.

From the resulting pressure, centre James Ford got wing partner Danny Mills over in the corner to bring the score back to 18-16.

The next try was likely to be crucial and it came the Vikings way through Hill after Sheffield made a mess of trying to catch the ball from the restart.

Again it was Smith who provided the pass as once more Hill's strength allowed him to barge over for a six-pointer.

Both sides had their chances as the second period progressed, but it took until the 73rd minute before Widnes effectively sealed the three points.

Scrum-half John Duffy's flat pass saw Gannon breeze through to score at the posts.

There was no way back for the Eagles at 30-16, but they did score a fine consolation try when Rowe's break was backed up by Woodcock, who went fifty metres to the line.

Hardman; Gaskell (1t), Donoghue, Grady, Dodd (5g); Paterson (1t), Duffy; Morrison, Smith, Gannon (1t), Hill (2t), Fletcher, Beswick. Subs: Bowman, Barlow, Draper, Kavanagh.