A DRAMATIC last minute last play try from Widnesian Mark Percival won this final match of the triple-header against the previously unbeaten Vikings in typical never say die Saints fashion, writes Graham Henthorne.
Saints winning 28-26.
The Saints had opened the scoring with a fine try from James Hill in the right corner, the winger crossing courtesy of a good ball from Percival.
The Saints extended the lead soon after. A great defensive set forced the Vikings to turn over possession closer to their own line than they would have hoped and the Saints made them pay. James Tilley profiting from Danny Yates’ great short ball.
Widnes opened their account soon after capitalising on a Saints error but the Saints came storming back.
A Saints scrum from the restart saw good work by Alex Clare and Lewis Foster scoring from Yates’ inside ball. Adam Barber’s second goal put the Saints 12 in front.
A lapse in concentration in defence let the visitors in for their second try but Percival’s first put the Saints in control again at the break. Connor Dwyer’s break saw the Saints on the attack and as the ball was moved across the field Percival had an easy run in from 25 out.
The second half was a different story; however, as two tries, the first after an error on the restart, saw the visitors take the lead.
The tide was stemmed slightly as Barber scored to give the Saints a slender two point lead. But the Saints couldn’t hold on and the Vikings regained the lead, the full back going over for the try.
With the minutes ticking down and the home crowd getting increasingly desperate up popped Percival to snatch the points.
In truth, the Academy were very lucky. In a performance reminiscent of the defeat away to Hull KR, the Saints should have been out of sight in the first half but were almost made to pay for their profligacy by their opposition.
It’s not that they can’t do it. Far from it. The problem seems to be that they can’t do it consistently enough.
Tries: James Hill, Mark Percival 2, Adam Barber, Lewis Foster, James Tilley
Goals: Adam Barber 2
Tries: Jack Owens, Alex Brown, Nathan Fernyhough 2, Harry Naughton.
Goals: Danny Price 3.
Half Time: 20-10
Full Time: 28-26
1. Corey Lee, 2. James Hill, 3. Mark Percival, 4. Adam Barber, 5. Leon Tatlock, 6. Dom Speakman, 7. Danny Yates, 8. Brad Ashurst, 9. Lewis Foster, 10. Jordan Hand, 11. Alex Clare, 12. Connor Dwyer, 13. James Tilley.
Subs: 14. Jack Jones, 15. Chris Webster, 16. Jordan Case (pictured), 17. Adam Hesketh.
1. Jack Owens, 2. Alex Brown, 3. Nathan Fernyhough, 4. Andy Wainwright, 5. Kieron Butterworth, 6. Chris Atkin, 7.
Danny Price, 8. Brad Davis, 9. Richie Hughes, 10. Lewis Whitty, 11. Jon Rigby, 12. Scott McCann, 13. Matty Norton.
Subs: 14. Ste Ball, 15. Alex Tague, 16. Jack Buck, 17. Harry Naughton.