A closely fought game was spoilt near the end by the sending off of two players, John Devereux of Widnes and Castleford's Keith England, following a flare-up on the Widnes line.
Widnes led 4-2 at half-time but, with with the wind at their backs in the second half, they began to take more control. Jonathan Davies landed a penalty followed by a solo try from Goulding, who also helped create the final score for David Hulme which sealed victory.
Hull KR survived a first-half onslaught from Salford before snatching a 14-10 victory. Salford, 4-0 ahead at half-time from two Martin Birkett penalties, fell behind when Graham Cook went over for a try which was converted by Mike Fletcher. Rovers secured the game when Paul Lyman's pass put Craig O'Brien over the line but Salford reduced the gap with a try in injury time from Cruickshank.
Wakefield, missing four first- choice forwards through injury, were no match for a powerful Halifax side, whose forwards repeatedly tore big gaps in their defence. Halifax scored six tries, including one each for their new signings Paul Bishop and Gary Divorty, and two from Greg Austin.
Hull gave their new coach, Royce Simmons, a nervous but eventually rewarding start to his new career on Humberside. His team trailed 8-0 to Bradford Northern after just 11 minutes, but they responeded with tries by Andy Dannatt, Paul Harrison and Jon Sharp for a 24-14 win.
Martin Leyland, the Swinton winger critically injured in a match last February - he fractured his skull and cracked neck vertebrae in a cup tie at Doncaster - made a try-scoring comeback on his League return in the Second Division against Rochdale Hornets. Yet Leyland could not stop relegated Swinton slipping to a 14-10 defeat against Hornets in their first match at their new Bury Football Club headquarters. Ronnie Duane, the Swinton captain, playing against his old club, was taken off on a stretcher with a gashed leg.Reuse content