Dewsbury Rams produced a superb comeback to defeat Widnes Vikings 25-24 and end a three-match losing run in the Betfred Championship last Sunday.
One-time Widnes player Liam Finn inspired the dramatic fight back as his 75th minute try and conversion saw the Rams draw level before he snatched victory with a drop goal two minutes from time.
Dewsbury struck an early blow as they capitalised on the sin-binning of Widnes half-back Danny Craven for holding down and Luke Hooley darted through a gap to score an unconverted try.
Dewsbury’s bright start continued as they forced a repeat set close to the Widnes line before Danny Igbinedion scooped up a pressure relieving kick by Joe Lyons to race 60 metres and score between the posts, with Finn converting.
Widnes replied as full-back Jack Owens cut through the defence to cross for the first of his hat-trick, which he improved.
Dewsbury extended their lead with an excellent third try as they ran the ball on the last tackle and Tom Garratt was sent charging through a gap and he found Adam Ryder, who in turn put winger Andy Gabriel in at the corner, with Finn’s conversion attempt hitting a post.
However, Widnes turned the tables as Owens dummied his way through and over for his second try, which he again improved.
Widnes attacked again before the break and when Hooley spilled Craven’s high kick it gave them chance for Owens to complete his hat-trick and again convert to give the Vikings an 18-14 interval lead.
Dewsbury hit back to level with a 57th minute try as a lovely reverse pass put Gabriel over for his second try but Finn was unable to convert.
Dewsbury set up another good attacking position but they spurned the chance of a drop goal attempt.
Widnes worked their way into a good attacking position and Craven sold a dummy and raced through to score what appeared to be a crucial try. Craven also converted as the Vikings moved 24-18 ahead.
Again Dewsbury refused to lie down and they regained possession having found touch with the kick off and then forced Widnes to drop out as the pressure mounted.
Finn produced a neat kick through, which rebounded off a defender, and he regathered to race over for a try, which he converted to level.
Dewsbury worked their way back into a good field position and moved the ball to Finn.
The veteran half-back showed great awareness to side step two onrushing Widnes defenders and slot over the drop goal.
It was enough to seal two crucial points for Lee Greenwood’s men as the Rams moved five clear of the bottom two after inflicting the Vikings first home league defeat of the season and a first Championship loss at the Halton Stadium since 2011.