Widnes may well be kicking themselves after losing at home to Bowdon in their latest South Lancs Cheshire 1 league fixture at Heath Road.
Although they trailed by 19 points after 45 minutes, they managed to contribute to their own downfall by bombing a number of chances which should have at least given them a chance of coming away with something from the game.
But, as it was, they were in far too generous a mood which allowed the visitors to claim the spoils along with the four valuable league points that were on offer.
The heavy overnight and early morning rain finally gave way to brighter conditions, accompanied by a cold and chilly wind to go with the ever present threat of another deluge which would later be realised midway through the first period that saw the supporters dashing for cover.
The home side were able to welcome back some of their missing charges from the previous week and they began the game well enough. Indeed, they had a great opportunity after just six minutes when a try looked a cast iron certainty as they created an overlap out wide.
Somehow, though, they contrived to release a pass which found its way into the hands of Bowdon pace man Thomas Oban who proceeded to do the rest by outstripping a flat footed defence and race 90 metres for a try against the run of play. In turn, the score was then converted by Greg Jacob to give the visitors a 7 – nil advantage.
They should have scored again moments later, but this time scrum half Paolo Parisi lost possession with a clear line ahead of him.
At this point, the Widnes hopes were beginning to look as miserable as the weather as the rain began to lash down once again, and with Bowdon dominating almost all of the possession as well as the field position, there was a feeling that another try was never going to be that far away.
Indeed, that did prove to be the case, although it did take until the 33rd minute, before Neil Bright cut through the middle to score, converted this time by Johnny Edwards which doubled their lead.
Widnes did manage to re-assert themselves in the latter few minutes of the half, but with no further changes to the score board, they went into the break trailing by 14pts – nil.
If they were to give themselves any sort of chance in the second half, then they needed a much more positive and patient response if they were to get back into the contest early.
And, it began well enough as Josh Kenyon went close. However, that was where the script went even wrong once again as Bowdon immediately went back up the field from where second-row man Daniel Brown raced clear to score their third try of the afternoon.
Trailing now by 19 points, it looked like the deficit would be just too big to make up. But, as Bowdon appeared to retract into their shell perhaps thinking their job was seemingly now done, Widnes began to find some of that missing form and self belief that had deserted them during the first period.
And, it wasn’t long before they eventually got some points on the board as Jamie Patient scored following some persistent and sustained work by the pack.
With the visitors now looking more vulnerable than they had done earlier on, Widnes continued to press for more points, which eventually came on 67 minutes as crisp handling sent Jamie Patient in at the corner for his second try of the afternoon.
Whilst there still appeared to be enough time on the clock to rescue the situation, in the end, the reality was that the home side had probably given themselves just too much to do and they were left to rue those earlier missed opportunities.
There was a stoppage in play in the closing moments following a clash of heads between Kevin Leadbetter and Jamie Clare, which saw the latter leave the field with blood coming from a facial wound. That was then followed by a spot of handbags on the far side of the field, which earned both captains a stern talking to from the official, before time was finally called to end the afternoon’s events.
Tom O’Neill made a welcome return to the side, and was selected as the man of the match, whilst Head coach Lee McDermott commented afterwards “There was no lack of effort on our part. We bombed that early opportunity and missed another few chances to put points on the board. Overall, I was happy with the performance but disappointed with the result”.