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Eagles complete double over Vikings


For the first time in 31 years, Sheffield Eagles have come away from an away game against Widnes Vikings with a victory.

An 18-30 triumph at the DCBL Stadium backs up a 34-24 win over the Vikings earlier on in the year at the Olympic Legacy Park.

Sheffield were two points down - 12-10 - at half-time but battled their way past John Kear’s side in a second half where they always looked to be on the front foot.

Danny Craven opened the scoring for the hosts on 12 minutes, capitalising on a quick play-the-ball by Owen Farnworth to muscle his way over. Steve Tyrer converted.

The Eagles were then gifted a try of their own. A loose ball was scooped up by Ryan Johnson, wh had enough pace to skip past Jake Spedding to the whitewash. Josh Guzdek converted.

Mark Aston’s men hit the front for the first time on 22 minutes with a stereotypical Ben Jones-Bishop effort as the winger took to the sky. Guzdek’s well struck conversion went wide.

It would be Widnes that held a small lead going into the interval following Spedding’s try against his former dual-registered team. Tyrer added the extras.

Sheffield finished the half with 12 men as Kris Welham was adjudged to have committed a professional foul.

Half-time - Widnes Vikings 12-10 Sheffield Eagles

Moments before Welham returned, Widnes would also go down to 12. Kenny Baker’s crunching hit on Josh Guzdek was high and the forward took a seat for ten minutes.

Sheffield went back ahead on 47 minutes with Anthony Thackeray taking on the line and feeding Liam Kirk through a gap. Guzdek converted from in front.

In the final quarter, Kirk’s fellow prop forward Brandon Douglas helped himself to four points as he burrowed his way over. Guzdek, once again, knocked over the two and he’d follow it up by kicking two penalty goals in the space of five minutes to extend Sheffield’s advantage to three scores at 12-26.

Oliver Davies reduced the arrears for Widnes with six left on the clock and the Vikings went close to bringing the deficit to just one score but a timely one-on-one steal from Guzdek kept the hosts at bay.

With seconds left on the clock, Tom Holmes wrapped up the victory for Sheffield. Johnson was first to a loose ball and he sent Matty Chrimes down the flank and half-back Holmes was in support to touch down. Guzdek couldn’t convert but the hard work had already been completed.

Full-time - Widnes Vikings 18-30 Sheffield Eagles

By Dan Fowler, photo by Alex Coleman