Rugby League - Vikings made to battle for victory

Widnes had to dig deep to beat a spirited Workington 36-0 and progress to the quarter-finals of the Tetley's Challenge Cup for the first time in eight years.

PA Sport
Rugby League - Vikings made to battle for victory
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Denis Betts' side had to dig deep to reach the quarter-finals

The seven-time winners were far from their best but in the end had a little too much for the Championship side in miserable conditions at Derwent Park, with Dave Allen touching down twice as the visitors crossed six times and Jack Owens kicking 12 points. Chris Dean, Stefan Marsh, Gareth Hock all went over before the break with Allen's second-half double coming either side of teenager Adam Lawton's score.

The Vikings were without Kevin Brown, who picked up a dead leg in training during the week, but otherwise fielded a pretty much full-strength side. And the part-timers proved tricky opposition for Denis Betts' men and will feel unfortunate not to have at least crossed the line.

With the wind at their backs the Vikings took the lead with five minutes played as Chris Dean danced along the touchline to score in the corner after Hock's outstanding cut-out pass. Owens was unable to add the extras.

Town responded well to going behind and some deft touches off the boot of Peter Lupton forced Widnes to drop-out from under their own posts three times in as many minutes. Alongside Lupton, promising youngsters Callum Phillips and Karl Olstrum were pulling the strings for the hosts and looked in good company against their Super League counterparts.

Widnes added to their lead on 15 minutes, skipper Jon Clarke made a trademark dart from the play the ball and Marsh was in support on the inside to touch down just right of the sticks. Owens made it 10-0 from a much easier angle. And just after the midway point in the half Hock's converted try under the sticks from first receiver put a bit of daylight between the sides.

Gary Charlton's charges refused to throw in the towel though and replacement hooker Graeme Mattinson went close to forcing a way back into the tie with a 30-metre dart but Owens and Hock scrambled in defence to haul him down just short of the line.

Widnes were really struggling to get to grips with the greasy conditions and Workington's physical approach but on the stroke half-time an Owens penalty from right in front made it 18-0 after Town's defence had been too eager coming off their own line.

On 47 minutes, as the driving rain continued to fall, Marc Shackley had a golden opportunity to open their account but fumbled with the line at his mercy. Town were then guilty of wasting several more good opportunities before Allen crashed over for Widnes with just over an hour played.

And when 19-year-old powerhouse forward Adam Lawton capitalise on an unforced error in the Town defence two minutes later Widnes' progression to the next round was secure. Owens landed both attempts at goal to make it 30-0. Allen crossed for his second in the final minute after Joe Mellor's grubber and Owens completed the scoring with another fine conversion.

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