PRETTY it wasn't, but Widnes did enough to eventually take the spoils 30-20 over Featherstone Rovers at Stobart Stadium Halton.In a game where the lead changed hands eight times, both sides struggled to exert any defensive dominance over the opposition The result was somewhat disjointed but nonetheless thrilling action.

Rovers took the lead with an early Stuart Dickens penalty but Widnes hit back when Jim Gannon and Bob Beswick combined smartly with the latter diving between the uprights.However, in a pattern which was to continue repeating itself, the lead was shortlived as Tony Tonks crashed in for the visitors.

The Vikings response saw fullback Ian Hardman profit from Beswick's half-break to score from close range.Once more, the visitors hit back.Impressive fullback Loz Wilbore exploited some thin defence to race through from 40 metres to give Rovers a 14-12 interval lead.

To nobody's surprise, Widnes were soon back in the driving seat early in the second half when Lee Paterson caught the oposition sleeping as he crashed over from a quickly taken penalty.

Wilbore again broke for Rovers to put winger Waine Pryce over and Dickens superb conversion restored their lead, albeit slender at 20-18.With 14 minutes remaining, a superb offload from Richard Fletcher put Matty Smith in for a six-pointer for the Vikings but they continued to live dangerously against a lively Featherstone outfit.The last few minutes finally saw Widnes dominating field position and they were rewarded when substitute forward Sam Barlow showed good footwork and strength to seal the game with a close-range surge.

The Vikings have now worked their way into the play-off zone but will probably have to up the ante if they want to stay there.

Widnes: Hardman (1t); Gaskell, Tyrer (5g), Morton, Dodd; Duffy, Matty Smith (1t); Morrison, Beswick (1t), Gannon, Strong, Fletcher, Paterson (1t). Subs: Mark Smith, Simm, Donoghue, Barlow (1t)