ACADEMY: Widnes Vikings 24-28 St Helens

ACADEMY: Widnes Vikings 24-28 St Helens

14th August 2017

The curtain came down on the U19s season and despite a nailbiting finish the young Vikings just fell short in a match which the lead changed hands on six occasions. 

St Helens started the brighter and they took advantage of a Widnes error when Sean Croston left defenders clutching at air as he raced away to score from 40 metres.  Widnes gradually got themselves into the game and after a Joe Lyons 40/20 it was Jake Burns who scooted over.  Brad Walker's conversion edged the home side ahead but Saints soon regained the lead when Callum Hazzard touched down and converted his own try to make it 6-10.  Both teams then began to make a series of errors which stopped the flow of the game but despite opportunities to score there was no further change to the score before the break.

A St Helens error gave Widnes an early chance to level matters and they took it when Keanan Brand forced his way over.  Brand then turned provider as his break created a try for Owen Buckley and Walker's conversion gave Widnes a 16-10 lead after only five minutes of the half.  It was soon all square again when Chris Follin scored under the posts, despite a great Jake Knox tackle, which Hazzard converted.

Joe Lyons then failed to find touch with a penalty and Saints took full advantage as scrum half Elliot Jenkins scored a fine individual try.  This time it was Thomas Nisbet who added the extras and Widnes were 16-22 behind.  The second half was becoming an exciting affair and Widnes reduced the arrears when a last tackle kick found Brand who put in skipper Joe Lyons.  Three minutes later Danny King was on the end of a good passing move to nudge Widnes ahead but with Lewis Edge unable to convert both tries they only held a two point lead.

The deciding score came with six minutes left when loose forward Sam Royle scored close to the posts.  Hazzard converted and despite making every effort to snatch the game in the closing seconds, Widnes couldn't regain the lead again.

Although not finishing in the play off positions this season, the U19s have seen Danny Walker, Owen Farnworth, Liam Walsh and Lloyd Roby make their 1st team debuts with Brad Walker also featuring in games.  This augers well for the future and next season will see an influx of new players, plus some of the existing squad, who will all be hoping to impress and force their way into the 1st team.


Widnes Vikings: Lewis Else, Jake Knox, Jake Alder, Keanan Brand, Owen Buckley, Joe Lyons, Chris Wilson, Pat McCarroll, Jake Burns, Luke Draper, Brad Walker, Louis Glover, Calum O'Neill. SUBS: Ben Davies, James Rutledge, Dan King, Max Dudley.

Tries: Brand, Buckley, Burns, King, Lyons.

Goals: Else 0/2, B Walker 2/3.


St Helens: Kevin Brown, John Hutchings, Cameron Brown, Sean Croston, Thomas Nisbet, Ryan Horne, Elliot Jenkins, Evan Bullen, Joshua Eaves, Jorge Lewtas, Ben Sims, Joseph Sharratt,  Sam Royle. SUBS:  Paul Nash, Callum Hazzard, Alex Eckley, Chris Follin.

Tries:  Croston, Follin, Hazzard, Jenkins, Royle.

Goals: Hazzard 3/3, Nisbet, 1/2,


HT: 6-10

FT: 24-28

Pens: 5-5

ACADEMY: Widnes Vikings 24-28 St Helens