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WIDNES 27 LIVERPOOL ST HELENS 24 (17/2/2018)


An extraordinary game with an extraordinary sequence of events produced an extraordinary finish somewhere around 90 minutes of time since the game started, and saw Liverpool St Helens, quite literally, give the game away to Widnes.

After turning in a poor performance in the first half and finding themselves 22-5 down at half time, LSH then looked like a different team in the second half as they clawed their way into the lead, 22-24 at what many observers thought was the very end of the game. Not so.

86 minutes had gone when Dave Cunliffe charged over for the try which equalled the scores at 22-22 but before his brother Matt could take the conversion, the referee awarded a penalty to Widnes and yellow carded the try scorer for foul play. Matt landed the conversion. 22-24.  

Everyone then held their breath as the Widnes kicker planted the ball on the centre spot, took careful aim and boomed it the full distance. It drifted just wide of the left hand post. Many observers then thought this would be the end. Not so.

With some added time still remaining LSH advanced to their 22 for the restart with an understanding that this was to be the last play. Sadly for LSH the ball was tapped and kicked straight out, upon which the referee ordered a scrum to Widnes as the ball had not been drop kicked. Some observers thought this would be the end. Not so.

Widnes won their own scrum and eschewing the drop goal option cleverly ran the ball down their left flank to score in the left hand corner. The conversion was missed, 27-24, and by now most observers thought that the full time whistle would be next. It was.

Once the dust had settled, please excuse the phrase, but we had definitely witnessed a game of two halves. Widnes had completely dominated the first forty minutes and were well worthy of their three tries and their lead. LSH looked out of sorts, with young Chris Hull standing out, not just scoring their only try but for his all-round effort and play.

In the second half in which Widnes barely crossed the half way line, LSH registered tries in the 44th minute when Hull crossed for his second and the 77th minute when Matt Cunliffe scored a beauty.

Then came the try in added time which should have won the game for LSH. It didn’t. It sparked a disastrous sequence of events which sadly for LSH led to them losing the game, through no one’s fault but their own.


Team

15 Johnston 14 Kean 13 Cunliffe M 12 Cunliffe D 11 Lynch 10 McClurg 9 Wilson (capt) 1 McCauley 2 Houlton 3 Fryer 4 Royle

 5 Gore 6 Hull 7 Forster 8 Potter 16  Heywood  17 Donlevy 18 Rawsthorne.

 

John Williams