16th April 1989: Widnes 32 Wigan 16
Posted by cherryandwhite on September 23 2013 - 19:57

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Sunday 16th April 1989

Widnes 32 Wigan 16
Naughton Park, Widnes
Stones Bitter Championship - Round 26 of 26
Kick Off: 3:00pm

Wigan Team
1.  Steve Hampson    
2.  Tony Iro    
3.  Dean Bell    
4.  Joe Lydon    G3 
5.  Mark Preston    
6.  Ellery Hanley  T   
7.  Ged Byrne    
8.  Ian Lucas    
9.  Nicky Kiss    
10.  Adrian Shelford    
11.  Andy Platt  T   
12.  Ian Potter    
13.  Andy Goodway  T   
 
Sub.  Martin Dermott    
Sub.  Denis Betts    

Widnes 

1. Alan Tait, 2. Jonathan Davies, 3. Andy Currier, 4. Darren Wright, 5. Martin Offiah, 6. David Hulme, 7. Paul Hulme, 8. Kurt Sorensen, 9. Phil McKenzie, 10. Joe Grima, 11. Mike O'Neill, 12. Emosi Koloto, 13. Richie Eyres. Sub: Barry Dowd

Tries: Martin Offiah 3, Kurt Sorensen, Paul Hulme, Phil McKenzie
Goals: Jonathan Davies 4

Summary: 

So a title decider had been set up between these two meeting on the final day of the 1988/89 season. The match went ahead despite being in the shadow of the Hillsborough Disaster which had unfolded at the FA Cup Semi Final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest the day before. Wigan had won 16 games in both league and cup to get this far having been nine points off the league leadership in mid January.

Wigan got off to the perfect start with Andy Currier kicking the kick off out on the full. Straight away, Andy Platt ghosted through the Widnes defence to make it 6-0 after Joe Lydon converted against his old club. Jonathan Davies missed two penalties to settle Widnes down but in the 18th Minute, Alan Tait sent Martin Offiah over but the conversion missed. Next in the 26th Minute, Widnes made another blunder. Darren Wright was trapped on the last tackle with ball in hand and Wigan used the territory to score through Andy Goodway. Lydon converted again for 12-4 to Wigan. That would have been a fantastic position for Wigan to take into half time but Widnes found a crucial try just before the hooter. Offiah scooped up a loose ball to go under the posts and Davies converted for a 12-10 half time score.

Widnes then became the stronger side second half with tries from Kurt Sorensen, Offiah (completing his hat-trick) and Paul Hulme putting Widnes in good control. Ellery Hanley pulled a try back in the 64th Minute but Widnes had already done too much damage. Phil McKenzie's try three minutes from time ensured the championship would stay in Widnes but the match ended in farce with home supporters pouring onto the pitch before time had been played out.

Half Time:  Widnes 10 Wigan 12
Attendance: 

17,323

Referee:  John Holdsworth (Kippax)

Top of the Stones Bitter Championship - After This Match

1st Place:l Widnes - Played - 26 - Won - 21 - Drawn - 1 - Lost - 5 - Points: - 41 - (Diff: +381)
2nd Place:l Wigan - Played - 26 - Won - 19 - Drawn - 0 - Lost - 7 - Points: - 38 - (Diff: +109)
3rd Place:l Leeds - Played - 26 - Won - 18 - Drawn - 0 - Lost - 8 - Points: - 36 - (Diff: +150)
4th Place:l Hull - Played - 26 - Won - 17 - Drawn - 0 - Lost - 9 - Points: - 34 - (Diff: +72)
5th Place:l Castleford - Played - 26 - Won - 15 - Drawn - 2 - Lost - 9 - Points: - 32 - (Diff: +121)