Widnes 14 Castleford 4: Peachey's performance helps Widnes raise a smile

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The Independent Online

Widnes lifted some of the gloom hanging over the club since their relegation from the Super League by defeating the side that replaced them in the top flight in a tremendous Challenge Cup tie played in cold and wet conditions yesterday.

Displaying an admirable defensive resolve, based on the tireless efforts of their pack, Widnes thoroughly deserved their victory that was clinched by the magical skills of their veteran Australian full-back David Peachey, who capped an outstanding individual display with two tries.

"The players deserve every bit of credit for the win," said the Widnes coach, Steve McCormack. "The conditions were horrendous but we played excellent wet weather football. Peachey is a class player but he would have had no complaints if any other of the Widnes players had won the man of the match award because this was a real team effort."

After a glittering career back home Peachey surprised many in the game by reaffirming his desire to fulfil a contract offer from Widnes despite their relegation. But he again demonstrated his enduring class with the match-winning contribution.

Peachey's first try came in the fifth minute as he supported a surging midfield break by the hooker Bob Beswick to glide under the posts. With Mick Nanyn adding the conversion to his earlier penalty Widnes had the initiative they never lost. Castleford, lacking eight first-team players through injury and with their coach, Terry Matterson, in Australia, did eventually find a way through when Andy Kain sent Tommy Haughey sliding over on the right four minutes before half-time. But that was the only time they breached a superb Widnes rearguard.

After soaking up a tremendous Castleford onslaught in the second half Widnes clinched the tie on the hour when Peachey picked up a loose ball and glided under the posts.

Castleford's assistant coach, Brad Davis, said: "All credit to Widnes. Their effort and enthusiasm was outstanding and we didn't control the ball as we should have done."

Widnes: Peachey; Dodd, Cardiss, Nanyn, Onyango; Coyle, Durbin; O'Connor, Beswick, McDermott, Cassidy, Allen, Smith. Substitutes used: Summers, Heaton, Reid, Nash.

Castleford: Platt; Blanch, Dyer, Bird, Shenton; McGoldrick, Kain; Fa'aoso, Handforth, Whitaker, Manu, Knowles, Haughey. Substitutes used: Henderson, Huby, Edwards, Boyle.

Referee: A Klein (Silsden)