Magic Weekend: Widnes Vikings hold off Salford Red Devils

Last Updated: 17/05/14 6:56pm

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Jack Owens (R): Scored one of six tries for Widnes Vikings

Jack Owens (R): Scored one of six tries for Widnes Vikings

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Widnes won for the first time on Magic Weekend as their 30-24 success over Salford continued an impressive Super League campaign.

Paddy Flynn scored the second of his two tries in the 79th minute to settle a back-and-forth match which was closely-fought throughout.

Jack Owens, Chris Dean, Lloyd White and Rhys Hanbury also crossed the line as the Vikings recorded their eighth league win of 2014 to consolidate their place in the play-off positions.

Tries from Junior Sa'u, Rangi Chase, Matty Ashurst and Danny Williams ensured the Red Devils kept pace with their opponents, while Francis Meli's late effort would have temporarily tied things up if Jake Mullaney had not missed the conversion.

The Vikings, who lost Danny Craven inside the first minute, were indebted to Kevin Brown after he shaded his stand-off duel with Chase in a free-flowing encounter.

Brown's floated pass got Flynn over for the first try after five minutes and his grubber kick looked to have created another for White, only for Salford forward Darrell Griffin to pinch the ball on the line.

The Red Devils were forced to soak up incessant pressure but struck on the counter-attack when Sa'u proved unstoppable from 10 metres out and Mullaney's conversion gave Salford the lead.

Thye extended the advantage after some Chase magic midway through the first half, the half-back taking Logan Tomkins' pass through the defensive line before wrong-footing full-back Rhys Hanbury for a converted score.

Vulnerable

Salford's defence always looked vulnerable, however, and another of Brown's cut-out passes gave left winger Owens a clear run to the corner before the stand-off then combined with White and Hanbury to get Dean over.

Danny Tickle failed with two more goals to leave the score 12-12 at half-time and Widnes were behind again within 90 seconds of the restart.

Second rower Harrison Hansen was put clear after good work from Chase and Mullaney and although he was hauled down just short of the line, the Vikings were unable to regroup in time to prevent Ashurst forcing his way over.

It was then Mullaney's turn to miss a conversion and soon after White touched down for Widnes before Tickle landed his first successful kick at the fourth attempt.

Hanbury then lost possession 30 metres out from his own line to gift an opportunist try to Salford winger Williams but the full-back quickly made amends by sprinting 95 minutes after Red Devils prop Lama Tasi had spilled the ball in a sickening collision with Macgraff Leuluai.

Tickle converted again and the Vikings found themselves 24-20 up, a lead they extended by two points after Tickle sent over a penalty.

Salford centre Martin Gleeson had a try disallowed by the video referee, but Iestyn Harris' side set up a nail-biting finish when Meli took Greg Eden's pass in to score his side's fifth try three minutes from the end.

Mullaney failed with a kick which would have tied the scores and Widnes had the final say when Hanbury's long pass got Flynn over for his second try.

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