NO WALK IN THE PARK AT SEFTON
There was no walk in the park for Widnes as they went down to a third successive league defeat at the hands of Sefton at Thornhead Lane
They made a dreadful start, conceding 14 points inside the opening few minutes before re-grouping to take the lead mid-way through the second half. It was, however their ill-discipline, general errors and inability to manage and see out a tight game that would finally come back to haunt them.
Their only reward – if there is such a thing in defeat – were the two bonus points they picked up as a result of scoring four tries and losing by less than seven.
For Sefton, though, none of this will have bothered them one jot. In the end, they proved to be solid, determined and worthy victors as they secured what was their third win on the bounce against the men from Heath Road.
The Widnes errors began right from the start as they knocked on from the kick-off. That gave the hosts the early territorial advantage from where star centre Liam Brown scored after previously going close just moments earlier.
More Wids calamity followed as the restart went straight into touch followed up by some poor defence which allowed Brown to score his second try in quick succession.
If that wasn’t bad enough, by this time Widnes had already lost Jamie Patient through injury to be replaced by Matty Walker on the wing.
The visitors eventually got their own show back on the road after 17 minutes, as Tom O’Neill showed both strength and determination to get over the line for a try with Andy Owens adding the conversion.
Once again, though, Widnes made a mess of the restart knocking on close to their own line and then conceding a penalty which John Fenton converted to make the score 17 – 7.
Next, Josh Paton was then forced to come to the Wids rescue and take evasive action and deal with a dangerous kick ahead as Sefton threatened once again.
Defending close to their own line, Gavin Hatton then made a super clearing run before the ball was spread out wide and recycled to eventually get Matty Walker in at the corner for a great try.
Not to be outdone, and with the clock ticking down, Sefton were to have the final say at the end of half, crossing for another converted try which would send them in at the break leading by 24pts – 12.
With the Coaches words ringing in their ears, the visitors began the second half in much more determined fashion.
Helped along by a couple of penalties, they got themselves to within earshot of the Sefton line which allowed scrum half Gavin Hatton to dummy his way over for a fine solo effort which was converted by Kevin Leadbetter.
With the deficit now just five points, it was looking like a different game, although it should have been Sefton who scored next as they bombed a clear cut opportunity on the far side.
Instead, it was the Wids who then went onto the offensive which ended in a well timed cross kick from Josh Kenyon being collected on the full by Andy Owens who touched down for a try which Kevin Leadbetter then converted to give his side the lead for the first time in the match.
After struggling for so long to get a foothold back into the contest, Widnes now needed some cool heads and a steady, disciplined approach for the remainder of the game if they had ambitions to go on and claim the spoils.
Instead, their inability to do just that gave Sefton a real chance of regaining the initiative they had previously held for much of the game.
That opportunity came with 12 minutes left when Widnes were penalised before then being marched back a further ten metres for some ill-timed back chat to the referee which made the kick at goal a whole load easier. The trusty boot of fullback John Fenton then did the rest and put his side in front again albeit by the narrowest of margins.
Despite that, Widnes still had opportunities and they were unlucky perhaps to see Josh Paton hauled back for a forward pass as he broke clear up the main stand touchline.
After that, there were to be no more opportunities for the visitors to play their ‘get out of jail’ card, before Sefton were again able to make their way downfield and wrapping things up with another late penalty which rounded off the scoring and complete a job well done for the home side.