Feb 22 2010 By David Bergin, Runcorn and Widnes Weekly News
Toa Kohe-Love scored two tries for the Vikings against Swinton
Swinton 12 Widnes 36
IT’S becoming increasingly apparent that this Widnes side is not going to lack anything in the commitment department.
The games against Batley and Barrow showed a team ready to play to the last seconds to earn a positive result, and on Sunday the Vikings displayed their ability to roll up their sleeves and dig in when conditions and spirited opponents are out to make life difficult.
The sight of Gareth Haggerty breaking off from his warm-up to urge on the defensive line when facing a tap penalty 10 metres out spoke volumes.
On an afternoon where heavy conditions, sweeping hail and sleet conspired against attractive football, Liam Farrell was again prominent with an all-action display and, indeed, all the forwards stuck to the task with grim determination.
Away from the midfield slog, Shane Grady and Toa Kohe Love had excellent games in the centre, contributing 20 points between them, and with a little more cohesion – or a drier day – there could easily have been more tries.
Swinton made a dream start with a try in the first couple of minutes from Richie Hawkyard.
Gavin Dodd converted and had a good afternoon against his former employers.
Widnes didn’t take long to peg the Lions back when Kohe Love showed good strength to force his way over. Grady couldn’t convert but made amends three minutes later with a big break downfield before sending Matt Gardner in. Grady also landed an excellent goal.
Dodd brought things level with a try in the corner after Swinton, but Vikings stretched away again through Grady. His conversion attempt from the touchline struck an upright and stayed out.
The gap was closed to two points when Dodd knocked over a penalty from close range, then Shaun Ainscough lifted the Widnes followers to earn a crucial score.
He chased hard as a kick downfield pegged the Lions back, and when winger Rob Foxen collected it, Ainscough was right on top of him to rip the ball free and go high-stepping behind the posts.
Grady’s goal made the score 20-12 at the break.
The second half became scrappier as the conditions worsened, although Paul Cullen would have been delighted that Widnes didn’t concede another point.
The best try of the game was scored early in the half by Mark Smith, who backed up on the inside of Haggerty’s charging break in a move that covered 70 metres.
Before that Kohe Love, and two Grady conversion had Vikings out of sight.
Anthony Thackeray – who switched to full-back when James Ford went off hurt – then finished some deft handling to seal victory.
Widnes: Ford, Ainscough, Kohe Love, Grady, Gardner, Thackeray, Webster, Haggerty, Smith, Kavanagh, Doran, Farrell, Allen. Subs: Gerrard, Coyle, Houghton, Davies.
Referee: W Turley.