Match report: Widnes Vikings 22-18 Bradford Bulls

In a nutshell
Widnes held off a spirited Bradford side in a scintillating encounter that was anyone’s game until the last few seconds.

How it unfolded
15′ – Home side strike first through Jack Owens, who sneaks in out wide. The Bulls fans are furious with referee’s decision. Danny Tickle hits the post with his conversion attempt: 4-0.

26′ – Widnes cross right under the sticks thanks to mercurial half-back Kevin Brown, who sells an outrageous dummy to go over. No mistake this time from Tickle: 10-0.

35′ – In what was described as a carbon copy of his first score, Kevin Brown strikes again, this time thanks to the hard work of Hep Cahill, who created the field position. Tickle converts: 16-0.

38′ – Widnes’ Chris Dean is sent to the sin-bin for a professional foul (stealing the ball). Bradford make numerical advantage count and score from the resulting play, Leeds loanee Liam Sutcliffe putting the ball down out wide. Luke Gale adds an impressive conversion and the Bulls are back in it: 16-6.

48′ – Bulls apply the bulk of the pressure in the second half and it pays off. Elliot Kear takes a flat pass from Luke Gale to score in the corner, Sam Wood’s 70m break laying the foundations. Gale converts from out wide again while Vikings fans complain of a forward pass: 16-12.

51′ – The Vikings respond immediately through former Bull Patrick Ah-Van, who pounces on a Cameron Phelps kick to register a four-pointer. Tickle converts: 22-12.

67′ – A superb individual effort sees Bulls full-back Brett Kearney evade four would-be tacklers and sprint over half the field to cross the whitewash. Gale adds the extras and Bradford have a real chance: 22-18.

78′ – Bulls looking dangerous but throw a forward pass on what proves to be their last chance of completing an unlikely comeback.

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