A DEBUT double from centre Chris Dean wasn't enough to save the Vikings from going down to their third consecutive defeat.

A final scoreline of 40-30 in the favour of Halifax is a fair reflection of a match in which both sides struggled defensively in warm conditions.

The first half in particular was a points-fest and was probably the period when Widnes could have taken the game away from the opposition.

Unfortunately, whenever it seemed the Vikings were about to assert a degree of dominance over their opponents, they conspired to let them back into the match.

Widnes opened the scoring with an early Richard Fletcher penalty but soon found themselves in arrears when Halifax loose-forward Shad Royston went in for the first of a hat-trick of tries.

Dean Gaskell and Ian Hardman combined with the latter touching down to level the scores before Dean got in on the act.

The young centre, on loan from St Helens, got his first try from a Mark Smith pass and soon doubled his tally when he raced over from thirty metres after good work by Bob Beswick.

At 18-6 up it was probably the point when Steve McCormack's men could have taken the game away from the visitors.

However, their inability to deal with Fax skipper Graham Holroyd's short kick-off proved costly.

The Yorkshire side regained vital possession and dragged themselves back onto level terms with tries from Richard Varkulis and Miles Greenwood.

Widnes stand-off Lee Paterson exploited some soft defence on the Halifax line to burrow over from dummy-half with Fletcher adding the extras but his effort was soon matched as Royston went in for his second at the other end.

A half-time score of 24-24 said as much about poor defences as it did about the quality of each side's attacking game.

But it seemed to be the visitors who learned the lesson best.

Halifax visibly tightened up after the break and restricted the Vikings to just one more try.

Hardman was again the scorer and Fletcher goaled well from wide out but by then Fax had established a lead through two Holroyd penalties and Royston's third touchdown which was given despite what appeared to be a blatant knock-on in the build up.

The game was sealed six minutes from time when Greenwood crossed for his second try of the game.

The pain of Vikings fans was compounded when skipper Mark Smith was assisted from the field after suffering a dislocated elbow in the second half.

Widnes: Yates; Gaskell, Hardman (2t), Dean (2t), Dodd; Paterson (1t), Duffy; Morrison, Smith, Fellous, Fletcher (5g), Noone, Beswick. Subs: Roper, Gannon, Hill, Kavanagh.