Viking uphill struggle - honours even.
Monday 8th February 2010
Batley Bulldogs 30
Widnes Vikings 30
by Martin Lace
An Anthony Thackeray try two minutes from time saved Widnes' blushes as they scraped a draw at Mount Pleasant.
Off the pace Widnes were trailing 30-16 at one point but showed good character to pull it back to 30-28 with only seconds remaining, leaving youngster Shane Grady with an attempt at goal to square it.
Grady, who missed five attempts at goal during the midweek win over Gateshead, handled the pressure superbly and he slotted it straight through the uprights to get a draw for his team.
Full strength Widnes were not at the races during a sloppy first half period in which they shipped four tries. Dangerous winger Lee Greenwood crossed for a double for the Bulldogs at the beginning and end of the first half with John Campbell and James Martin powering over to give Batley a deserved lead at the break.
Lee Doran managed to burst over after 13 minutes and impressive back rower Ben Kavanagh kept Widnes in touching distance with two tries in five minutes which gave the Vikings huge confidence to correct their mistakes of the first forty.
Four Gareth Moore conversions didn't help Widnes either and at 24-16 going into the dressing rooms, the Vikings had it all to do.
Campbell struck again soon after half time for Batley but new signing from Wigan, Shaun Ainscough, pounced and he raced over for two well taken tries to give Widnes a flicker of hope going into the final stages.
The Vikings, led by James Webster, began to crank up the pressure on Karl Harrison's men and Thackeray pulled them from the fire with a solo effort near the end.
Grady's third conversion was crucial and saved face for the Vikings in front their impressively large travelling support.
Johnny Campbell, Ian Preece, Mark Barlow, Danny Maun, Lee Greenwood, Paul Handforth, Gareth Moore, Byron Smith, Kris Lythe, Sean Hesketh, Craig Potter, Chris Buttery, Ash Lindsey Subs: John Gallagher, David Toothill, James Martin, Jason Walton.
Tries: Greenwood 10, 38, Campbell 22, 50, Martin 28. Goals: Moore 5.
James Ford, Shaun Ainscough, Matt Gardner, Toa Kohe-Love, Shane Grady, Anthony Thackeray, James Webster, Steve Pickersgill, Mark Smith, Jim Gannon, Lee Doran, Dave Allen, Chris Gerrard, Subs: Lee Farrell, Ben Kavanagh, Dave Houghton, Ben Davies.
Tries: Doran 12, Kavanagh 35, 40, Ainscough 56, 70, Thackeray 78. Goals: Grady 3.
Attendance : 1,004