Super League: Widnes snatch draw with Catalan Dragons
Last Updated: 30/05/14 10:44pm
Danny Tickle: Late conversion levelled scores
Widnes secured a dramatic draw with Catalan Dragons thanks to a late try from Tom Gilmore.
Catalan were leading 26-20 and looked set for victory before Gilmore touched down three minutes from time at the Stobart Stadium.
Danny Tickle then landed the conversion to make it 26-26, denying the Dragons their seventh win in eight First Utility Super League matches.
Catalan had surged into a 10-0 lead but trailed 16-10 at half-time before running in three crucial second-half tries in eight minutes through Morgan Escare, Leon Pryce and Michael Oldfield.
The Vikings were without eight-try winger Paddy Flynn after he picked up a two-match suspension for fighting in last week's defeat at Castleford.
Widnes were also missing Alex Gerrard, Dave Allen and Grant Gore with their places taken by Chris Dean, Danny Galea, Adam Lawton and Danny Craven.
The Dragons kept the side which swamped Bradford 46-4 with Jason Baitieri, Scott Dureau, Brent Webb, Ian Henderson and Greg Mounis still absent.
Widnes, who had lost five and drawn another of their six previous clashes with Catalan, kept youngster Gilmore at scrum-half to partner Kevin Brown.
They were looking to bounce back from two defeats in the last three matches against Wakefield and Castleford - sandwiched by a Magic Weekend win over Salford.
The Dragons made the livelier start with Eloi Pelissier touching down after two minutes, but the effort was disallowed for a forward pass from Pryce.
Widnes' relief was short-lived with their defence all at sea when they allowed a towering Pryce kick to bounce.
Thomas Bosc collected the loose ball with his deft cross-field kick giving Daryl Millard a walk-in try after six minutes.
Millard's surging break then ripped the Widnes defence apart with his pass to Vincent Duport allowing the centre to leave Rhys Hanbury in a spin with Bosc's conversion making it 10-0.
Tickle then spilled the ball near the Catalan line on the Vikings' first raid to add to the frustration.
But Widnes clicked into gear midway through the first half with a gem of a pass from Gilmore putting Tickle through a gap for Hanbury to finish off the move in style.
Tickle tagged on the conversion to cut the gap to 10-6 but Widnes lost Cameron Phelps with a shoulder injury with giant Adam Lawton drafted into the centre.
Substitute Willie Isa made an immediate impression with a blistering long-range break which ended with Lloyd White streaking 40 metres after intercepting a stray pass from Pelissier to touch down for the Vikings' second try in the corner.
Widnes went ahead for the first time with Stefan Marsh taking Gilmore's pass to squeeze over with Tickle landing the touchline conversion on his 350th Super League appearance.
Outstanding Widnes cover defence denied Elliott Whitehead a try when he looked a certain scorer and the Vikings went in at the break 16-10 in front.
Levelled the scores
Widnes had managed to keep dangerman Escare quiet in the first half but the full-back shot over eight minutes after the restart with Bosc's conversion levelling the scores at 16-16.
Hanbury then lost the ball while trying to clear his own line and Catalan took advantage for Pryce to crash over with Bosc's conversion off the touchline making it 22-16.
Catalan added a third try in eight minutes with Oldfield touching down in the corner from Pryce's kick.
It needed a flash of inspiration to get Widnes back in contention and that was provided by Brown whose long pass put Jack Owens over unopposed in the corner to cut the deficit to 26-22 on the hour.
Widnes left it late with Gilmore going over and Tickle booting the goal.
There was still drama with Bosc off target with a drop goal for Catalan, and Danny Craven coming up just short with a 40-metre effort for Widnes.
First Utility Super League
Thu 23rd Apr
Wakefield Wildcats22 - 40Wigan Warriors
Fri 24th Apr
Hull FC4 - 24Huddersfield Giants
Leeds Rhinos10 - 29Warrington Wolves
St Helens34 - 16Widnes Vikings
Sat 25th Apr
Catalans Dragons32 - 24Hull K R
Sun 26th Apr
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 30th Apr
Huddersfield GiantsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 1st May
Hull FC0 - 0Salford Red Devils
St Helens0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Wigan WarriorsvsHull K R
Sun 3rd May
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 7th May
Hull K RvsWakefield Wildcats
Fri 8th May
Salford Red DevilsvsHuddersfield Giants
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Sat 9th May
Catalans DragonsvsSt Helens
Sun 10th May
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Thu 21st May
Castleford TigersvsHuddersfield Giants
Fri 22nd May
Hull FC0 - 0St Helens
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull K R
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Sat 23rd May
Catalans DragonsvsWigan Warriors
Sun 24th May
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 30th May
Salford Red DevilsvsWidnes Vikings
Hull FCvsHull K R
Leeds RhinosvsWigan Warriors
Sun 31st May
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
St HelensvsWarrington Wolves
Castleford TigersvsWakefield Wildcats
Thu 4th Jun
Widnes VikingsvsHull FC
Fri 5th Jun
St Helens0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Sun 7th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wigan Warriors
Hull K R0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 11th Jun
Leeds RhinosvsCastleford Tigers
Fri 12th Jun
St HelensvsWigan Warriors
Sat 13th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsHull FC
Sun 14th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Hull K R0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Thu 18th Jun
Castleford TigersvsSt Helens
Fri 19th Jun
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Sat 20th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsWakefield Wildcats
Sun 21st Jun
Hull K R0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
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