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29th January 2003: Wigan 16 Widnes 20
Match Report Wigan 16 Widnes 20
Posted on Wednesday, January 29 2003 @ 21:37:56 GMT by Bilko

Wigan Warriors 16-20

Widnes Vikings

Mark Smith 2
David Hodgson
Ryan McDonald
Paul Atcheson
Adam Hughes
Chris Giles
Julian O'Neill
Denis Betts
Adam Hughes 2

Widnes snatched victory at the JJB on Wednesday evening with a last gasp try through Chris Giles in the game arranged for Denis Betts' testimonial season.

Wigan were without several key players, namely captain Andy Farrell and Adrian Lam who are both taking part in the World Sevens in Australia for Great Britain and Papua New Guinea respectively. Kris Radlinski (ankle), Brett Dallas (knee) and Craig Smith (ankle) were also sidelined.

Despite the absence of the regular first teamers, Wigan pulled out a 6-4 lead at the interval with a try from Mark Smith, Julian O'Neill goaling. The Widnes reply came through Ryan McDonald.

After the break, it was the full-back and former Wigan star, Paul Atcheson, who put the Vikings ahead. Adam Hughes' goal gave them a 10-6 lead.

Mark smith was then re-introduced from the bench in one of over 25 interchanges on the night, and with his first touch he went over for his second of the night.

The testimonial man Denis Betts, who played for most of the game, stepped up to convert only the second goal of his career to make it 12-10 to Wigan.

Then Winger David Hodgson, made the most of a Paul Atcheson mistake to put Wigan 6 points ahead.

After a period of Wigan dominance, Widnes managed to claw their way back into the game with a try and goal through Adam Hughes setting up a grandstand finish.

It was then over to Chris Giles, who deep into injury time, stretched for the line under the Wigan challenge. Hughes was wide with the conversion attempt but the last gasp effort had won the game.

Wigan Team: Shaun Briscoe, Brian Carney, Martin Aspinwall, Paul Johnson, David Hodgson, Julian O'Neill, Luke Robinson, Ricky Bibey, Mark Smith, Danny Sculthorpe, Denis Betts, Stephen Wild, Sean O'Loughlin
Subs (all used): Gareth Hock, Dave Allen, Danny Tickle, Terry Newton, Kevin Brown

Attendance: 3,043
Referee: Russell Smith (Castleford)

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