In a thrilling contest, Widnes 3rds just lost out to Waterloo 4th team.
On a sunny winter’s afternoon, Widnes started the game brightly but it was Waterloo who opened the scoring against the run of play. A kick and chase from the half-way line enabled the visitors to out-run the Widnes defence to score, with the conversion attempt drifting wide.
Widnes resumed their onslaught of the Waterloo line and finally breached the defence when Ian Winstanley fed Tony Ross to crash over under the posts, Neil Street adding the extras. The lead was extended two minutes later when a flowing move ended with Ian Leadbetter crossing in the corner. Neil Street landed a booming conversion from the right hand touchline.
Waterloo finished the half strongly, but resolute defence by Widnes ensured they had only a penalty attempt, which drifted wide, to show for their endeavours.
Widnes further extended their lead early in the second half. Mike Cairnes took a scrum against the head, his third of the afternoon, allowing Les Whitfield to break from midfield. An inch perfect pass to Tom Abbot enabled the winger to race through to score under the posts. The ever-reliable Ian Winstanley slotted over the extras.
Waterloo fought back but Widnes’ defence remained intact, despite a sin-binning for persistent infringement. In the 65th minute, however, a Widnes attack broke down and the Waterloo winger caught a loose kick and took his opportunity to evade a stretched defence to score under the posts from 80 metres out. A successful conversion brought the visitors within a score which duly resulted on 75 minutes when a long pass found the left winger with enough space to squeeze in at the corner.
Despite landing 3 successful conversions, the referee apparently missed one, ensuring Widnes finished on 19 points. Fortunately, this did not affect the result as Waterloo finished narrow victors. Elsewhere, defeat for nearest rivals Merseyside Police ensured Widnes remain second in the league.
Next week they entertain Christleton in Round 2 of the Raging Bull Shield.