Rugby: Widnes sweep to victory in an end-to-end affair

Dave Hadfield watches the Chemics rise from the rubble of their `new' home

It was not much like Wembley. In fact, it did not look much like Naughton Park but Widnes, whose name remains synonymous with the Challenge Cup, safely started their campaign on the building site that now doubles as their home ground.

The Chemics, Wembley finalists in 1993, were far too strong and knowing for Clayton, the amateur club from the outskirts of Bradford, winning by 56-2. But the impression was that there were as many there to see what it would be like watching a game on a ground with two ends and no middle as to mark the formality of a Widnes victory.

Naughton Park was never one of the game's more impressive grounds and the new, council-financed stadium that will eventually rise on the same site will no doubt be a great improvement. But at the moment, with both of their old stands flattened, and spectators confined to the two terraces behind the sticks, rugby league at Widnes is rather a disjointed experience. All in all, it seemed superfluous to announce that fans must not change ends at half-time; they would have needed all-terrain vehicles to do so.

Any chance that the inauguration of Widnes's non-stadium might be marked by an embarrassment at the hands of the amateurs was effectively wiped out in the first 18 minutes, when the Widnes stand-off and captain, Phil Waring, went in for three tries.

The rest of the match was notable for a matching hat-trick from their hooker, Jim Cassidy, and the return after serving a two-year ban for steroid abuse of Jamie Bloem, who scored a try of his own near the end.

Waring's combination with one of Widnes's new Kiwis, Ben Lythe, was one of the more hopeful signs for the season ahead. Clayton meanwhile got their meagre reward when their centre, Chris Parr, kicked their only points 15 minutes from time.

Widnes were less concerned about grand designs for their stadium than with ensuring that everyone had a cup of tea. But that was always the attractive thing about Widnes, of whom it can now literally be said that they are a club without any side.

Dudley Hill from Bradford continued Second Division York's Challenge Cup misery by pulling off the one upset of the day, winning 21-14. York were beaten by amateurs West Hull last year. Oulton took Doncaster desperately close before going down 15-14, while Siddal lost only 16-8 at Barrow. Leigh won at a canter by 68-10 against Wigan St Patricks, with debutant Stuart Donlan, son of Leigh's former Great Britain centre, Steve Donlan, scoring three tries.

Widnes: Broadbent; Kendrick, D Myler, Nelson, Smith; Waring, Lythe; Makin, Cassidy, Hansen, Harrison, P Myler, Cunningham. Substitutes used: Bloem, Collier, Mills, Connor.

Clayton: Calvert; Chapman, Parr, Cornforth, Brooksbank; Hellewell, S Pendlebury; Anderson, Milnes, P Stephenson, Todd, A Stephenson, Flanigan. Substitutes used: Sykes, B Pendlebury, Horn, Sheehan.

Referee: J Connolly (Wigan).

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

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Recruitment Genius: General Factory Operatives

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links