The cup draw had drawn together Wigan and Widnes to meet
at Central Park the following Saturday after this league game but the
headlines continued to be more about Ellery Hanley's absence from the Wigan
side. Hanley had been dropped the previous weekend for disciplinary reasons
by coach Graeme Lowe and he had been offering his side of the story to the
newspaper with the highest bid. Hanley maintained he was "baffled and
saddened" by the decision to drop him but Lowe obviously didn't drop Hanley,
90 tries in 63 games since joining Wigan, lightly. Hanley had reported for
training on the Tuesday before this game but on the Friday he was transfer
listed by the club for a fee of £225,000.
So all that off the field drama made this an even bigger
task for Wigan at Widnes. The situation was pretty simple though. Wigan
needed to win this match to retain hopes of keeping their title because
Widnes began 10 points clear of Wigan, albeit having played three games
more. It was a tight opening to the game with Widnes opening the scoring
with a 17th Minute penalty goal from John Myler. Wigan though responded on
the half hour with Nicky Kiss fighting his way over from close range.
Richard Russell converted for 6-2 but five minutes later, Andy Currier sent
Phil McKenzie in and that levelled the scores at 6-6 into half time.
Wigan quickly regained the lead second half with a great
run and finish by Kevin Iro making it 12-6 but Widnes soon responded
themselves with Kurt Sorensen and David Hulme combining to send Joe Grima
over for 12-12. That was within seven minutes and on 55 minutes Wigan went
ahead for the third time with a gift try to Andy Goodway. Near his own try
line, Martin Offiah had slipped trying to return the ball and from his play
the ball, Myler knocked on sloppily and Goodway had a simple pick up and run
over the line. Conversion was missed but the 16-12 score was seen out for
all of the last 25 minutes.
Widnes 6 Wigan 6
Ken Spencer (Warrington)
Top of the Stones Bitter Championship - After This Match
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