IT was a humdinger of a local derby packed with incident but in the end it was Warrington who claimed the local bragging rights with an 18-10 win over Widnes at Halton Stadium.

Amongst the occasional flare-up, a sin-binning, a referee collison and controversial decisions, there was also some decent Rugby League played. In the absence of the injured Charly Runciman, Widnes coach Denis Betts opted to go with Matt Whitley in the left centre position with former Warrington man Sam Wilde starting in the second row.

Aaron Heremaia and Danny Craven returned from injury at hooker and on the bench respectively.

The first action of note saw Wolves centre Ryan Atkins go high on Olly Ashall-Bott but Widnes couldn’t capitalise on the field position.

Instead it was Atkins who struck first latching on to a Declan Patton chip kick to give his side a 4-0 lead after eight minutes.

After Chris Houston had given a penalty away for a high shot on Warrington’s Bryson Goodwin, the Wolves went in again when Ben Currie’s flat pass on tackle one caught Widnes by surprise and Stefan Ratchford sailed in for a six-pointer.

Widnes twice went close on the flanks but both Stefan Marsh and Ashall-Bott were stopped just short.

The Vikings hit back on 23 minutes when Joe Mellor’s pinpoint short kick was latched onto by centre Krisnan Inu to touchdown and make it 10-4.

Warrington looked sure to score on the left but scrambling defence kept Goodwin at bay.

The game was delayed for several minutes after Wolves substitute forward Joe Philbin received an accidental head knock and had to be led from the field.

With under two minutes remaining of the half, Hep Cahill forced his way over the line but couldn’t ground the ball and the score remained 10-4 at half-time.

A fumble from fullback Rhys Hanbury gifted Warrington some early field position after the break and Atkins repeated his first half try-scoring feat this time from a Stefan Ratchford kick. Goodwin’s goal gave the Wolves a 16-4 cushion.

Warrington thought they were in again on 52 minutes but Ben Currie’s long pass was ruled forward.

Referee Phil Bentham found himself in the wars when a collision with Widnes loose forward Chris Houston saw him leave the field to be replaced by touch judge Scott Mikaluaskas.

When Ashall-Bott spilled a bomb, the Vikings conceded a penalty in the ensuing chaos and Goodwin nudged his team two points further ahead.

A melee erupted on 59 minutes which Wolves second row Jack Hughes ignored but his ‘try’ was disallowed and Widnes awarded a penalty.

Tempers began to fray but Inu kept his cool to cross for his second try from a Gilmore cross-kick and the goal made it 18-10 with 14 minutes remaining.

A Matty Russell error invited Widnes in again and prop Jay Chapelhow looked a certain scorer but lost the ball in Stef Ratchford's challenge as he went for the line.

A superb break and pass from Craven found Ashall-Bott who was held down in the tackle resulting in Wolves forward Mike Cooper being sent to the sin-bin.

It was frantic stuff but the pressure was eased when Cahill dropped Houston’s short pass.

Warrington ran the final few minutes out of the clock to get their first win of the season.

Widnes: Hanbury; Marsh, Inu, Whitley, Ashall-Bott;; Mellor, Gilmore; Cahill, Heremaia, J Chapelhow, Dean, Wilde, Houston. Subs: D Walker, Craven, Burke, Olbison.

Warrington: Ratchford; Lineham, Goodwin, Atkins, Russell; K Brown, Patton; Hill, Clark, Cooper, Currie, Hughes, Westwood. Subs: Crosby, Smith, Murdoch-Masila, Philbin.

Half-time: 4-10.

Referee: P Bentham.

Attendance: 7,009.