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Rugby: Widnes cruise to win over West Park

Aaron Duggan was a try scorer for Widnes against West Park

Widnes 41
West Park 10

Written by Steve Clark
Photos by Ian Moss

Widnes scored seven tries and kicked three conversions in a comfortable 41-10 victory against near neighbors West Park at Heath Road.

It was a welcome return to form for the ‘Heath Roaders’ who had previously been doing it tough over their last few games after suffering a major injury crisis in their ranks.

The win means that whatever happens with their last game with Liverpool Collegiate, they will finish the campaign as runners-up to Champions Didsbury. This was a re-scheduled fixture, after the original game fell foul of the stormy weather conditions back in mid January.

Scrum half Josh Kenyon is wrapped up by three Park defenders.

On this occasion though, the weather for the game was bright and sunny, with a dry pitch underfoot following a distinct lack of rainfall since the arrival of Spring. Nevertheless, this was a derby game, and all the ingredients were there to make it a potential cracker of a contest.

In front of a big, shirt-sleeved crowd, the opening exchanges were all a bit scrappy with plenty of errors mixed in with more than a sprinkling of penalties shared between the pair. Park had plenty of early possession which forced the home side into some serious defensive duties, before they were able to cut loose after 15 minutes as Jack Krause finished off a well-rehearsed miss-move to get the winger strolling over for a try.

Andy Owens added the conversion to make it 7-0. A couple of minutes later, Park fullback Jack Holland kicked a penalty for Park to reduce the deficit. The home side were finding their rhythm though now, and in 25 minutes, Captain Kevin Leadbetter was able to capitalize on some quick handling to score the Wids second try.

Justin Winstanley makes the hard yards for Widnes

Four minutes later, a trademark break down center field from Aaron Duggan laid the platform for Krause to add his second try of the afternoon, with Owens also on target with the extras. Widnes then lost a player into the sin-bin, before newcomer Luis Woodall made a welcome debut appearance from the bench.

From there, Park came roaring back and laid siege inside the Widnes danger zone, and it took a timely interception from Duggan to deny them a chance of getting back on terms. Instead, they would shortly find themselves even further behind, as the man of the match Jamie Patient combined with Ryan Millington in midfield to send the latter over for a try which secured them a bonus point as well as a 24-3 half-time advantage.

If Park had any chance of getting something from the game, they knew they had to start the second half well and score some early points. Instead, though, they continued to shoot themselves in the foot by coughing up any number of silly penalties which cost them both possession and field position.

Flying high! Both teams compete for possession from a lineout

So, it wasn’t really that much of a surprise when, in 55 minutes, Aaron Duggan popped up on the wing to score another Wids try which all but put the game to bed at 29-3.

Fifteen minutes later, all action number eight Tom O’Neill barged his way over the line for his side’s sixth try which was converted by Andy Owens. With just five minutes left, some crisp Wids handling saw the versatile Tom Spencer round off a great team try, before Park were finally rewarded with a late, long-range consolation effort from Will Johnson converted in style from way out by Jack Holland.

Wids Head coach Andy McIntosh said afterwards “Today was a great performance from the lads after the disappointment of last week. We defended well, controlled the game throughout, created some great chances and scored some good tries. It was an all-round solid team performance that puts us in a strong position going into our cup game next week.

Hopefully there aren’t too many sore bodies so we can have one final push to round off the season.”

Andy Owens has his progress stopped by three Park defenders

Following on from losing their grip on the League Cup a fortnight ago, Widnes have one last chance to claim silverware, when they take on Rochdale at Heath Road in the semi-final of the Lancashire Cup.

And, what a game it promises to be. The men from Moorgate Avenue have had a great year in North 2 West, having been promoted after finishing second in the table behind Anselmians.

With Widnes also finishing second in their respective division, an exciting contest looks to be in prospect. Records show that it was in season 2015-16 that the pair last met in North One West, with Rochdale completing the double. Prior to that, in 2012-13, the roles were reversed, with the ‘red-and-blacks’ securing two impressive high scoring wins.

Supporters are reminded that the game kicks off at the later time of 3.00pm.


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