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By Dave Farrell
Date: 3/12/2000


Widnes 22 - 14 (8-2) Whitehaven

In their first competitive game under new coach Paul Cullen there was much admire in this performance as the Haven took the much fancied Widnes team to the wire, and only a 77th minute try by subsitute Demetriou finally sealed the game for the home team.
With the Widnes pack fielding Simon Knox, Stephen Holgate and Chris McKinney, it looked like a Hensignham old boys' line up but the Haven six showed them little respect in the opening half as both packs went at each other hammer and tong. It was Widnes who got on the score sheet first with a try from winger Cussons.

The sin binning of Craig Walsh soon afterwards saw winger Mark Foster take advantage of the extra man to extend the home teams lead to 8-0. Haven's only first half score came a penalty goal from Paul O'Neill. 8-2 at the half.

The second half provided great entertainment as the lead changed hands several times. On 48 minutes a great break fro Aaron Lester provided the opportunity for Seeds to score from long range. Paul O'Neill added the goal and the game was tied at eight-all. Back came Widnes with an unconverted try to regain the lead at 12-8. On the 58th minute a break from Craig Walsh was rounded off by Lee Kiddie and with another O'Neill goal Haven were back in front at 14-12. Could we do it?

The answer was no as Widnes scored again to regain the lead but it wasnt until that late late score that the game was finally beyond the Haven.

A terrific all round performance from this young Haven squad (average age 22) who will have gained in confidence on the back of this showing. We look to next Sundays home clash with Swinton Lions with anticipation .

"In the 55th minute it was 12-12 against Widnes on their own turf. And this against the bookies favourite to head the NFP at season end. So the final scoreline of 22-14 to Widnes is certainly not a case of the Past the Pelican problem." Adds Marra.

A comment from the Vikings web site gives their view: "The Vikings overcame a robust Whitehaven side in front of some 3,800 fans.''


www.marras.co.uk the web site of Whitehaven Rugby League