Rugby League: Whitehaven's timeless win
Whitehaven 28 Widnes 6
Monday 22 February 1999
Widnes encountered a crash on the M6, rain, sleet and finally hail that stung like nettles - and, worst of all yesterday, a Whitehaven side that gave them no peace throughout the match.
Give or take a few rule changes, this was a game that could have taken place during any of Whitehaven's 50 seasons at the Recreation Ground, with a big pack going about its business in the traditional Cumbrian manner, in front of two enterprising half-backs.
Widnes had made an encouraging start to their season - and, like Whitehaven, have a highly winnable Challenge Cup tie to look forward to next weekend - but they were never allowed into this game as equal partners.
They did take the lead, though, midway through an old-fashioned arm-wrestle of a first half, through Jim Salisbury's penalty.
They soon fell behind, however, when Craig Walsh cut in from his wing and flighted a little kick over the defence which was picked off by Wayne Kitchin for the game's first try, converted by Kevin Hetherington.
Another clever kick was responsible for putting Widnes level by half- time, Paul Harris this time spotting the empty acres on the right and James Briers reaching the ball first, but Whitehaven shut the door firmly in their face after the interval.
Their outstanding back-row forwards, Graeme Morton and Gary Charlton, set up Walsh for one try, after both Morton and Walsh had seen one disallowed and the result was never in doubt after that.
After Salisbury put a kick-off straight into touch for the second time in the match and Leroy Joe had a drop goal attempt charged down to give his side another six tackles, Joe himself dummied his way through for the try that ensured there was no way back.
In the last 10 minutes, Whitehaven struck twice more through Morton and their inventive stand-off, Lee Kiddie. On this form they can be a force in the Northern Ford Premiership this season, as well as difficult opponents for Oldham and whoever might come next in the Challenge Cup.
Whitehaven: Hetherington, Lewthwaite, Seeds, Lynch, Walsh, Kiddie, Joe, Cox, Kitchin, Fatialofa, Chambers, Morton, Charlton. Substitutes used: Frazer, Bone, Vaughan, Lester.
Widnes: Salisbury, Briers, Critchley, Myler, Munro, Mansson, Devecchi, Hansen, Cantillon, Mann, Harris, Savelio, Cassidy. Substitutes used: Percival, Reid, Cross, Argent.
Referee: P Taberner (Wigan).
Latest in Sport
Arsenal and Puma unveil world's first left-footed football
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?
Liverpool's best XI of the season so far: Raheem Sterling should play in the front three while Steven Gerrard remains on the bench
WWE Raw results: Brock Lesnar suspended for post-Wrestlemania 31 rampage after losing title to Seth Rollins
Liverpool injury news: Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren expected to be ready for Arsenal clash
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 3 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 4 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working closely with the market...
£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A reputable company, famed for ...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...