Widnes Vikings: Anthony Thackeray admits relief at Northern Rail Cup draw
Batley Bulldogs 30 Widnes Vikings 30
ANTHONY Thackeray was a relieved man when he saw young team-mate Shane Grady’s cool high-pressure conversion of his try fly over the posts to salvage two points for Vikings.
Thackeray, who had been forced to watch for 10 minutes of the second half when sin-binned, said: “I’ve never been sent off the field in my life as I’m not really like that, but he did grab me and that’s why I reacted.
“I was gutted and felt like I’d let the lads down so I was glad that I managed to get back on and score.”
New captures Shaun Ainscough on the wing, and forwards Ben Davies and Liam Farrell all showed plenty of promise on debut.
But an Ian Preece try, converted by Gareth Moore for the first of five successful attempts with the boot, got the hosts off to a good start up the notorious Mount Pleasant hill.
Widnes were quickly on terms when Lee Doran went over for a try improved by Grady, but for the rest of the half they were just about hanging on to Batley’s shirt tails.
The Bulldogs were fortunate with their second try when it appeared that Johnny Campbell had been tackled before stretching out to score.
But there was nothing wrong with either of their next two efforts from James Martin and Lee Greenwood.
In reply, Widnes posted an almost identical brace of tries from the outstanding Ben Kavanagh, each time fed down the right centre channel by James Webster.
Grady converted the second just as the hooter sounded to keep the gap down to 24-16 at half-time.
Poor defence allowed Campbell to stretch the hosts’ advantage soon after.
The conversion made the score 30-16 and the Vikings were staring defeat in the face.
Ainscough pulled two tries back for Widnes either side of Thackeray’s yellow card.
With time running out, Thackeray returned to slice his way through a tiring defence.
Grady obliged with the conversion to make it 30-30.