Widnes coach John Kear says his side’s effort levels weren’t good enough, as their faint hopes of reaching the play-offs were ended by Barrow at Summer Bash.
The Vikings led 16-6 in the first half but were outscored 24-6 in a disappointing second half performance for a result which virtually guarantees Barrow’s place in the top six.
It meant it was the Raiders that ended July with a perfect five wins.
Kear said: “It was more about the way we played than anything. You don’t mind losing, but when the manner of loss is as such, it’s very disappointing.
“We played really well in the first half and that was really pleasing. There were elements of confidence at half time, but it was misplaced confidence.
“It’s the first game since I’ve been here that I felt our effort levels weren’t good enough.
“There were too many players on the short side, which left us short on the big side, and little indicators like that we weren’t on point and we got what we deserved.”
Story of the game
Widnes conceded the first try of the match inside two minutes when off the first set of the game, Jarrod Sammut gathered his own high kick and the ball eventually found its way for Shane Toal to cross in the left corner.
But Widnes, having won all four games since Kear took charge, grew in to the game and Danny Craven dummied through the line for their first try on 20 minutes.
Oliver Davies backed up a break down the right by Steve Tyrer before Matty Fozard was awarded a try, despite appearing to lose control of the ball over the line.
Sammut’s smart kick down the right touchline sent top try scorer Tee Ritson away to feed Hakim Miloudi on his inside to make the half time score 16-12.
After Luis Roberts went close to a try, Barrow worked their way up field and scored through Ritson, and then when Josh Johnson conceded a penalty when attacking two metres from the line, Barrow once again punished Widnes by working their way up the other end to score through Anton Iaria.
Although Sammut gifted an interception try for Roberts, he atoned for that with a solo try to give them an eight point lead.
Tyrer kicked a penalty to bring Widnes within a score, shortly before Sammut was sinbinned for a cannonball tackle on Owen Farnworth.
Farnworth himself would finish the game in the sinbin too, for a high tackle on Luke Cresswell on the break, while Widnes finished with 11 men following an injury to Craven after they’d used all their interchanges.
Ritson made sure of the win late on, scoring a brace against Widnes for the third time this season.
The result leaves Widnes some nine points behind Barrow, and six behind York before the City Knights took on Newcastle.
John Kear added: “We missed a number of chances, so we need to be more clinical. When it’s a tight game against a good team, you can’t just give the opposition easy possession.
“We chose to run the ball because we’re close to the line and then two tackles later, we just push the player and it’s a needless push and it turns attack in to defence.
“We’ve been the masters of our own destiny.
“That team we had there is a good team and we should have played 80 minutes than we have done.
“Standards dropped today. And that may be a little indicator to me that consistency might be a problem.”