Sheffield 34-24 Widnes: Eagles enjoy emotional return to city with impressive victory

Sheffield Eagles Mark Aston

Sheffield Eagles enjoyed their return to the city with a 34-24 victory over Widnes at the newly developed Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park. 

Their new stadium is on the site of the old Don Valley Stadium, where the club was based between 1999 and 2009 and again from 2011 until 2013.

A limited crowd of 800 enjoyed their return on Monday night, fighting back from 12-0 down against Widnes Vikings.

Match report

On loan from Wakefield, Isaac Shaw and Yusuf Aydin were named by Sheffield, both featuring from the bench. Tom Holmes started at hooker in place of the injured Vila Halafihi.

Widnes welcomed back star man Danny Craven from injury. The 30-year-old stand-off was named on the bench. Jake Spedding also returned, named in the centres. Matt Fleming missed out through injury. 

Lloyd Roby opened the scoring just four minutes into the clash after a nervy start from Sheffield. The 23-year-old used his pace to beat his opposite man to crash over for a 6-0 lead.

The hosts extended their lead to 12 just two minutes later through Sam Wilde. Sheffield kicked the restart out on the full and Widnes took full advantage.

Ben Jones-Bishop scored the host’s first try on their return to the city at the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park on 15 minutes. Izaac Farrell converting to reduce the deficit to six. 

Sheffield scored again on 21 minutes through the other side this time. Jason Bass crossed thanks to a slick back-line play from the scrum. Farrell levelling the scores at 12-12.

The Eagles took their first lead on 33 minutes thanks to a penalty conversion from Farrell. 

HT: Sheffield 14-12 Widnes

Veteran Kris Welham scored the first of the second half on 48 minutes. Anthony Thackeray was allowed time to throw a wonderful pass to assist the former Super League centre.

Bass scored his second of the evening on 54 minutes thanks to another scrum play to extend the home side’s lead to 22-12. 

Mikey Wood was next to score for the hosts on 57 minutes, who were enjoying their return to the city. Meanwhile, Roby left the field due to injury as things got worse for Widnes.

The Eagles continued their scoring form just two minutes later, as half-back Izaac Farrell danced his way through to extend the lead to 34-12. 

Craven, who made his return from the bench in the second half, crossed with four minutes to go for the Vikings. Ryan Ince crossed two minutes later, but the two tries were just consolations as Eagles claimed the victory on their return home.

FT: Sheffield 34-24 Widnes

Sheffield: Laulu-Togaga’e, Jones-Bishop, Welham, Guzdek, Bass, I.Farrell, Thackeray, Douglas, Holmes, Wood, Bower, J.Farrell, Hodgson.

Bench: Dickinson, Broadbent, Shaw, Aydin.

Tries: Jones-Bishop, Bass (2), Welham, Wood, I.Farrell.

Widnes: Roby, Ince, Spedding, Tyrer, Edge, Lyons, Smith, Field, Fozard, Doro, Davies, Wilde, Brown.

Bench: Craven, Baker, Farnworth, Lawton.

Tries: Roby, Wilde, Craven, Ince.

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About Josh McAllister 1513 Articles
Journalist. Joined the Love Rugby League team full time at the start of 2022 having been a freelance reporter for several years. Previously media manager for Swinton and Rochdale.

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