Widnes Vikings set themselves up with a tie against Barrow in the Northern Rail Cup Final after overcoming league leaders Halifax at The Shay, thanks to a virtuoso performance from scrum-half Anthony Thackeray.
‘Fax recovered from an early 20-6 deficit to take a 22-20 lead. But a Craig Hall drop-goal, and Thackeray’s match-winning try to complete his hat-trick ensured Widnes booked their first final place of the season.
It took the home side just six minutes to breach Widnes’s defence, Said Tamghart crossing the whitewash, duly converted by Lee Patterson.
But Widnes scored three tries prior to and after half-time to give them a dominant lead.
Thackeray grabbed his first try after the game with sixteen minutes on the clock and further scores from Gavin Dodd and Thackeray again, all converted by the on-loan Craig Hall who also notched a first half penalty, took the game to 20-6.
Halifax responded in similar fashion, however, in a blitzing seven minute spell of pressure which resulted in three quick scores.
The comeback was complete when Royston went in for his second try of the game, again converted by Patterson to give Fax a slender two-point advantage.
But a late penalty from Hall, followed by a dropped goal ensured Widnes had one foot in the final.
The game was ended when Thackeray crashed over for his hat-trick try, sending Paul Cullen’s men to Blackpool.