Widnes had been champions in the previous two
seasons but needed to beat league leading Wigan here to get back in the
race. The match was played on a Saturday Afternoon, televised locally
in the North West by regional ITV (Granada Television). No score had
occurred until Widnes took the lead in the 26th Minute with Ged Byrne at
Full Back making a right mess of a Jonathan Davies bomb. David Marsh pounced
to score under the posts with a ricochet off the post denying Ellery Hanley
the chance to ground it dead. Easy conversion made it 6-0. Wigan responded
to level whilst Widnes coach Dougie Laughton was busy chatting on air to
Granada commentator Clive Tyldesley. Hanley touched down his own hack
forward and Bobbie Goulding converted for 6-6. He later added a penalty goal
to put Wigan 8-6 up at the break.
Defences got back on top early second half with
the deadlock only being broken in the 61st Minute with Goulding kicking a
drop goal for 9-6. Both Hanley and Widnes' Joe Grima had spent time in the
bin before Widnes looked like they had snatched victory with a try three
minutes from the end. Naughton Park went wild but Jonathan Davies' failed
conversion would prove costly because Wigan got the ball back from the
restart with Offiah knocking on. On this set the touch judge Billy Brown
entered the field and Wigan got a penalty with Darren Wright the guilty man.
It was in kickable range and the youngster Bobbie Goulding kept calm to kick
Wigan 11-10 ahead and they would hang on for that win. Widnes with one swing
of the boot had gone from two points behind Wigan to being six points behind
and probably out of the title race.
Widnes 6 Wigan 8
Colin Morris (Huddersfield)
Live Coverage on Granada Television (ITV North West)
Top of the Stones Bitter Championship - After This Match
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