Widnes 30 Salford 24 match report: Vikings edge 11-try thriller to extend Salford's winless run to six

Widnes' first Magic Weekend victory comes at the thired attempt after seeing a late Paddy Flynn try earn the win

Widnes gained their first Magic Weekend win at the third attempt after edging an 11-try thriller in the Manchester sunshine to leave Salford without a win in their last six matches.

The Red Devils twice held the lead and had a chance to draw level with seven minutes left but Vikings winger Paddy Flynn grabbed his second try in the closing moments to clinch a 30-24 triumph.

The Vikings were indebted to Kevin Brown, who shaded his stand-off duel with Rangi Chase, who made a full contribution to a wonderful free-flowing encounter.

Salford had Jake Mullaney as a makeshift scrum-half in the absence of Tim Smith and Theo Fages while Widnes also had to manufacture a half-back partner for Brown after losing Danny Craven inside the first minute when he knocked himself out trying to tackle Gareth Hock.

Brown's floated pass got right winger Flynn over for the first try after five minutes and his grubber kick looked to have created another for Lloyd White, only for Salford forward Darrell Griffin to pinch the ball on the line.

The Red Devils were forced to soak up incessant pressure, but they struck on the counter-attack to level the scores in the 18th minute.

Hooker Logan Tomkins combined with his half-backs to get the strong-running Junior Sa'u into space and he proved unstoppable from 10 metres out.

Mullaney's conversion gave his side the lead, which they extended courtesy of Chase's magic touch midway through the first half.

He took Tomkins' pass to go through the first line of defence and, using Tony Puletua as a foil, wrong-footed full-back Rhys Hanbury to grab a solo try.

Mullaney's second goal made it 12-4 but Salford's defence always looked vulnerable and the Vikings drew level by half-time.

Another of Brown's cut-out passes gave left winger Jack Owens a clear run to the corner and the stand-off then combined with White and Hanbury to get centre Chris Dean over on the other flank.

The normally reliable Danny Tickle failed with all three, admittedly difficult, goalkicks to leave the scores tied at the break, but the Red Devils regained the lead within 90 seconds of the re-start.

Second rower Harrison Hansen was put clear after good work from Chase and Mullaney and, although he was hauled down just short of the line, Widnes were unable to regroup in time to prevent substitute Matty Ashurst forcing his way over.

Mullaney was off target for the first time and the lead changed hands three times in the space of eight frantic minutes as the game opened up.

White touched down for Widnes after the ball bounced kindly from Hanbury's kick and Tickle landed his first conversion at the fourth attempt.

Hanbury then lost possession 30 metres out from his own line to gift an opportunist try to Salford winger Danny Williams but quickly made amends by sprinting 95 minutes after Red Devils prop Lama Tasi spilled Tomkins' pass near the line.

With Tickle finding his goalkicking range, the Vikings suddenly found themselves leading 24-20 and they missed a glorious chance to extend their advantage when second rower Dave Allen dropped Owens' pass with the line at his mercy.

Centre Stefan Marsh also spilled a decent chance and Widnes had to settle for a penalty from Tickle for all their efforts in the second quarter before the Red Devils rallied.

Salford centre Martin Gleeson had a try disallowed by the video referee, but they set up a nail-biting finish when left winger Francis Meli took Greg Eden's pass to score his side's fifth try three minutes from the end.

Mullaney failed with the kick that would have tied the scores and Widnes had the final say when Hanbury's long pass got Flynn over for his second try.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...