Wakefield Trinity Wildcats defeated Widnes Vikings 12-10 at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium tonight to move to within two points of the eighth-placed Vikings and opening up the race for eighth place with the prospect of a thrilling finish to the season.
At half-time the Vikings led 0-4, having scored the only try of the game through Danny Tickle, who got over the line from a Joe Mellor pass after 18 minutes, although Tickles missed a relatively easy conversion attempt.
The first half was a tight, tense game with the Vikings having the upper hand for most of it, but they were unable to increase their lead, with the Wildcats welcoming Ali Lauitiiti back into action as a 25th minute substitute on his return from injury.
In the second half the Vikings missed a gilt-edged chance to move further ahead when Patrick Ah Van intercepted a Tim Smith pass and dashed down the field. But he was caught by Wakefield centre Jimmy Keinhorst near the line, who made one of the most significant tackles of the season.
Wakefield then scored two quick converted tries to take an eight point lead.
First, Tim Smith touched down a ball spilled by Paddy Flynn in a Richard Moore tackle, and then Nick Scruton charged onto a Smith pass for the second.
Widnes fought back, however, when Stefan Marsh touched down a kick to the Wakefield line in the 68th minute, with Tickle’s touchline conversion reducing the gap to two points.
The Vikings had one last chance to snatch the game when Ah Van lost the ball trying to get over the line with a minute remaining, and the video referee decided the ball hadn’t been stolen, much to the relief of the home supporters.
A full report and pictures from this game will feature in Monday’s edition of Rugby League Express.