Super League: Kevin Brown's double helped Widnes overcome Bradford
Last Updated: 30/03/14 5:49pm
Stand-off Kevin Brown scored a first-half brace to help Widnes to a tight 22-18 success over plucky Bradford at the Select Security Stadium.
Brown's double and another from Jack Owens gave the Vikings a 16-6 lead at the break and a platform to build on in the second half.
They did not have it their own way after the break, however, as Bradford defied their off-field problems to produce a spirited comeback that might have seen them take something from the match.
Elliot Kear and Brett Kearney added converted tries to Liam Sutcliffe's score just before half-time to edge the Bulls back.
But Patrick Ah Van's try in between proved the difference as Widnes' impressive start to the season continued.
Bradford may have left Halton with nothing, but at least have some hope for the future after Marc Green secured ownership of the club this week.
Green, who was watching the game in the boxes at Widnes, would have been pleased with the desire and effort of his side.
Led by Luke Gale, Chev Walker and Manase Manuokafoa, the Bulls put the Vikings under some considerable pressure.
The Vikings got their account ticking over on 14 minutes as Tom Gilmore sent in Owens for a neatly worked try. Danny Tickle hit the post with the conversion but was on target with his next effort after Brown had put the ball under the posts with a superb solo score out of nothing.
Brown, who is in a rich vein of form for the Vikings in both attack and defence, added another to his ever increasing total of Super League tries as he ghosted in for a walkover try five minutes from the break.
Owens should have put the Vikings further in front seconds later as his sweeping run had the Bulls defenders all at sea but his offload to substitute Paul Johnson was coughed up with the try line at his feet.
Bradford, who had defended gamely in the first period, got some reward for their effort with a nice try from half-back Sutcliffe to give them some encouragement before the second period.
The Bulls started the better of the two sides after the restart and Luke Gale's pinpoint cross-field kick was collected by Kear to put them right back in it at 16-12.
Francis Cummins' side threw everything at Widnes as they looked to nip ahead but Owens set up Ah Van with a dribbling grubber kick to give the Vikings some breathing space.
Tickle's conversion making it 22-12 but it was far from comfortable for Widnes.
With 14 minutes remaining Kearney's weaving run saw him end up over the try line. Gale tagged on the extras to put them within four points.
The Bulls could have snatched it at the death as Gale sent Adrian Purtell through but Paddy Flynn made sure with a solid shot that man the Vikings could run the clock down.